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NDP MLA Emily Tredger

Petition demands more climate change action

The New Democrats are endorsing a petition from territorial environmental groups calling for more action on climate change.

By Tim Giilck on March 22, 2022

The New Democrats are endorsing a petition from territorial environmental groups calling for more action on climate change.

An alliance of five local groups is demanding that the Yukon government take concrete steps to improve accountability for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout the territory, including in particular within the mining industry.

The petition is from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Yukon chapter, Yukoners Concerned, the Yukon Conservation Society, the Raven Recycling Society and For Thei FutureYukon.

The groups maintain that, if the government is serious about its 45 per cent reduction target for GHGs, it must:

• set an emissions cap for the mining industry by December 2022; and

• routinely undertake complete analyses of multi-phase GHG emissions across all government and industry projects worth more than $500,000.

“If the Yukon government is serious about meeting its climate goals, then it’s critical that we assess how new infrastructure and resource extraction projects will impact the Yukon carbon budget,” said Malkolm Boothroyd, the campaigns co-ordinator at CPAWS Yukon.

“The climate impacts of these developments aren’t being thoroughly assessed, which makes it even harder for the Yukon to bring its carbon emissions under control,” added Lewis Rifkind, the mining analyst for the conservation society.

On Monday, NDP MLA Emily Tredger presented the legislature with the group’s petition that reads as follows:

That: The Yukon Government has declared that we are currently in a state of climate emergency and so has committed to reducing Territorial Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by 45 per cent over 2010 levels by the year 2030, in order to take responsibility for our part in helping to limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius;

That: The Auditor General’s 2017 Yukon report stated that: the government’s climate action commitments and progress reports were “weak, with many lacking milestones or completion dates,” also that the government “did not systematically assess the risks associated with climate change before it defined its commitments”; and

That: The Yukon’s 2021 State of the Environment report found that between 2009 and 2019, Greenhouse Gas emissions had increased by 24 per cent;

That: GHG emissions from the mining sector constitute a significant and varying proportion of the Yukon’s emissions which could easily make it impossible for the Yukon to reach its emissions target;

That: The scope, complexity and urgency of this necessary 45 per cent reductions target is unprecedented and affects the future of all Yukon residents, yet is still lacking are specific commitments to successfully identify and narrow the knowledge gap regarding all current sources of GHG emissions, in order to enable and prioritize well-informed decision-making;

Therefore, we the undersigned respectfully request that the Yukon Legislative Assembly urge the Government of Yukon to commit to each of the following essential steps:

  1. Starting immediately that the government will establish a policy to ensure that whenever capital decisions are being considered from across all government sectors and industry for all items worth over $500,000, a complete analysis of multi-phase GHG emissions from all up-front and operational activities expected, will be included. To avoid conflicts of interest and to ensure objectivity and accuracy, all such analyses will be completed by qualified professionals from private companies independent of government, legislative body, or development proponent;

  2. Such complete, multi-phase GHG emissions analyses for pre-approved projects will also be completed and made public when associated funds are due to be released;

  3. The Yukon Government will set an emissions cap for the mining industries by December 2022 similar to the cap being set by the federal government on the fossil fuel industries;

  4. Whenever GHG emissions analyses have been completed, the data will be entered into a publicly accessible database for purposes of transparent accountability and for yearly progress reviews.

“Mr. Speaker, this has been signed by representatives of a number of environmental organizations in the Yukon, including CPAWS Yukon, Yukon Conservation Society, Yukoners Concerned, Raven Recycling Society, For Their Future Yukon, and a number of individual Yukoners.

Comments (29)

Up 8 Down 1

Groucho d'North on Mar 27, 2022 at 1:54 pm

I think you may be missing North O 60s point. All these fossil fuel tax policies we pay are to combat GLOBAL warming not exclusively YUKON warming. As stated we are a drop in the emissions bucket and our visionary governments have some difficulty in applying the disincentives where they should rightfully be laid.
We get increasing carbon taxes to curb our fuel consumption while the government coffers fill up. But Canada has no problem allowing tonnes and tonnes of coal to be shipped to China for them to burn for electricity. It's the same atmosphere they are polluting but are not being restricted for their emissions while we are punished for fractions less. What do you think the carbon tax amounts to for 29 million tonnes of coal per year? Learn more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberts_Bank_Superport

Up 6 Down 23

Lynx on Mar 26, 2022 at 9:46 pm

@Northof 60 "None of the people pushing the "climate change" mantra can provide even a shred of proof that all the fuel we burn in the Yukon causes any measurable change in the earth's climate."

You are right, Yukon is only one small drop in the massive bucket, so why bother doing our part?
Using the same logic, no one from Yukon should have served in WW1 or WW2 since the small handful of soldiers from here did not make a lick of difference in the overall outcome of the war.

Up 13 Down 16

Nathan Living on Mar 25, 2022 at 9:46 pm

Let's do nothing about climate change but the government needs to subsidize electrical power and the price of gas. Why do I have to pay so much to fuel my toys?

The gas and oil pollution from my old skidoos and quads does not affect anything adversely. Sure there is some environmental damage but it's mainly ruts and broken branches, it's cosmetic. And rutted trails attract wildlife for sure.

The City does not care about environmentally sensitive areas so why should I? If animals cannot adapt they should move away and give the more hardy species a chance. Sure there may be a loss of diversity but Darwins evolution will work its magic and we will see the tough species prosper.

Why should I have to conserve and drive my big pickup like I care? If people from Ontario and BC did not move here with a dubious green ethic we could enjoy doing our thing like the old days. Those bikers are a nuisance on the roads and streets, why do licensed cars have to always be slowed down by them?

My home is very well insulated but it's very big and hard to heat. Solar panels will not work in the winter for sure We need to develop and refine our natural gas and oil in the Yukon and bring the cost of gasoline down to about $2.50 per imperial gallon.

Please stop trying to turn the Yukon into southern Ontario. I say live and let live but you are trying to fence me it, it's a form of environmental fascism.

Up 24 Down 5

North_of_60 on Mar 25, 2022 at 2:55 pm

None of the people pushing the "climate change" mantra can provide even a shred of proof that all the fuel we burn in the Yukon causes any measurable change in the earth's climate.

Everyone in the Yukon could stop using ALL fossil fuels FOREVER, and the global GHG concentration wouldn't change by any measurable amount. Burning fossil fuels sold in the Yukon only emits 550 to 750 kiloTonnes of CO2e per year. The Yukon contribution is 0.0016% to 0.0020% of the global total GHGs for a year. That's so low it can't be measured.

The incessant doomsday predictions are not based on actual data but instead are all based on computer games the climate change mavens wrote, and those have been consistently incorrect for more than 40 years.

Real world data show North America Just Suffered the Coldest Winter In Years.
Unusually frigid temperatures have engulfed Canada and the United States over the past three months. According to NOAA, meteorological winter went down as North America’s coldest since 2014. And when looking at only January and February of 2022, it was “the coldest such period since 1996,”
Temperatures continuously recorded at more than 60,000 stations all over the world show the earth has been cooling since 2015. Any thinking person can see this for themselves at www.temperature.global
Global warming isn't happening. This is nothing but yet another scam to get more government funding for their pet projects and self-serving NGOs.

Up 31 Down 8

Dave on Mar 24, 2022 at 12:45 pm

Sure doesn’t look like Emily Tredger rides her bike to work.

Up 24 Down 5

Dave on Mar 24, 2022 at 12:39 pm

Where did that Emily Tredger come from anyway?

Up 28 Down 6

Dave on Mar 24, 2022 at 9:30 am

If everyone who signed the petition died that would help the carbon footprint.

Up 14 Down 25

Yukoner32 on Mar 23, 2022 at 3:15 pm

@Wilf If you want to account for the carbon each tree sucks up, then you also need to account for the carbon released during every forest fire. You also need to account for all of the methane leaking out of the ground here due to melting permafrost. I mean if you are going to say we gain credit for natural processes such as the growth of a forest, then we must also lose credit for every natural process that emits carbon/methane. So surely you see what a ridiculous argument it is that you are using.

Up 43 Down 1

Anie on Mar 23, 2022 at 2:41 pm

JC, for as long as I can remember, COW's approach to traffic has been that if it gets more difficult to drive in Whitehorse, then people will choose to walk or bike. Yes, that's a load of bunk, but it has been the unspoken policy. The city simply refuses to even consider turning lanes or (gasp) traffic lights that will accommodate left hand turns. It's pathetic, and I don't know why so many councils have acquiesced to the philosophy of a couple of long time city engineers.

Up 55 Down 4

Jason Steele on Mar 23, 2022 at 1:19 pm

Okay let's take concrete steps to analyze GHG Emissions in the territory by examining Green Energy & how it relates to Mining. Firstly, let's focus on a typical EV battery that weights approx. 1000 pounds. It contains 25 lbs of lithium, sixty pounds of nickel, 44 pounds of manganese, 30 pounds of cobalt, 200 pounds of copper, and 400 pounds of aluminum, steel and plastic...... not produced with unicorns and ferry dust. To manufacture each EV battery, you must process 25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium, 30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt, 5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, and 25,000 pounds of ore for copper. All told, you dig up approximately 500,000 pounds of the earth's crust for one battery.

Next, lets examine solar arrays and the chemicals required to process silicate into the silicon used in the panels - Hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrogen fluoride, trichloroethane, and acetone. They also require gallium, arsenide, copper indium gallium diselenide, and cadmium-telluride which are all highly toxic. Silicon dust is a hazard to the workers that produce solar panels in third world countries, and the panels cannot be recycled - let's not even get into the additional environmental costs of freight and inevitably disposal of product.

Windmills weigh 1688 tons, contain 1300 tons of concrete, 295 tons of steel, 48 tons of iron, 24 tons of fiberglass, and a whole array of rare earth minerals - not withstanding the removal of earth and forest for their rather large footprint.

If you look at Green Energy with an open mind, it is fairly obvious that it's just another form of consumption with environmental consequences. Perhaps the NDP/Liberal Coalitions should take a long hard look in the mirror on their own personal impact on the environment, before thrusting their ideologies on the rest of us just trying to contribute to our community and society as a whole by throwing on our work boots everyday and going to work.

Up 36 Down 4

JC on Mar 23, 2022 at 9:55 am

I am unsure as to how politicians, even citizens, can glaze over the fact that the basics of Yukon, in particular, COW's infrastructure NEEDS to be updated to reflect it's rapidly growing population. By doing this you will start to "beat" climate change.
If you would like to reduce emissions, let's start by improving traffic flow, and dedicating lanes for cyclists and buses. It took me 17 minutes to travel 700m ( 93-Lewes Blvd to FH collins) in the morning commute to the city's downtown. It took 25 minutes to drive to the CGC. It was grid lock, and no room for emergency vehicles if ever they needed to get through to the hospital. THIS IS INSANE. If traffic flow is not improved, you can build all the wind mills you want, you are still going to have a signifant vehicle emission problem ( and it continues to grow).

Up 40 Down 4

Mitch Holder on Mar 23, 2022 at 9:17 am

They can contribute to climate change action by retrofitting my home in a recession under willfully ignorant governance. We are done footing the bill for profiteers of the industrial age. Pay up, empty YOUR COFFERS before you ever get respect from me. Let's start a petition to counter this petition and demand transparency for the use of our carbon taxation. YTG just gave you 150 dollars of hydro back OUT OF YOUR OWN POCKET.

Up 49 Down 4

Pierre on Mar 23, 2022 at 8:16 am

By looking at the picture and the MLA’s attire I would think a climate emergency is the least of her worries. Also who is Thei FutureYukon, I suspect a load of peeps who can’t spell. Same NDP who want everything electric coming from diesel generation but at the same time trying to hamstring society with unattainable goals…spell hypocrisy.

Up 55 Down 2

iBrian on Mar 23, 2022 at 7:34 am

You people need chores in your life. You can’t hold speech’s and form petitions to shut down industry. Then fill your back packs and drive 300km to a hiking trail or charter a Turbo Prop float plane to fly you into a river to drift down, while talking about saving the planet.
Your purchasing power destroys the environment more then the industry paying taxes.
All these organizations need to reflect what their activities produce for GHG

Up 35 Down 10

Naturelover on Mar 22, 2022 at 7:07 pm

Many of these environmental groups are full of well meaning people, but they are being used as pawns by ruthless people like Vladimir Putin who fund them .

Follow the money.

Up 46 Down 4

Salt on Mar 22, 2022 at 7:01 pm

My thoughts exactly. How many tax dollars get handed out to NGO parasites that then get utilized to lobby the government. The gov just directly funds its special interest groups to astroturf any issue they want. It is the same ploy that Trudeau uses with FN.

Up 43 Down 2

The new religion on Mar 22, 2022 at 6:41 pm

Environmental alarmists are becoming the new version of religious fanatics.

There needs to be a balance on protecting the economy while working towards all of these climate goals. It is usually never good to be super extreme one way or the other.

Up 53 Down 3

Max Mack on Mar 22, 2022 at 6:23 pm

Let's see the petition. Let's scrutinize it to see if there are fake names, aliases, duplicates, partial names, children, out-of-territory residents, etc.

Let's give them the same treatment they gave the Freedom petition.

Up 35 Down 2

motive unclear on Mar 22, 2022 at 6:11 pm

ok. let's go.

These reports must include all fossil fuel carbon tonnages spewed by the largest employer in the Yukon... the YTG and associated contractors.

Also, who exactly will be awarded the lucrative contracts for this essential (cough cough) study and how will they be selected?
I want both reports on my desk by monday morning...lolz.

Up 44 Down 3

Groucho d'North on Mar 22, 2022 at 5:37 pm

This is like a doughnut with mustard on it. I want to like it, but I just can't.
I am concerned about the extra focus on the mining sector given Mr. Rifkin's and CPAWS' long-time position on mining in the Yukon. Is this more than just an examination of the true GHG situation in the territory? Or perhaps another effort to discredit mining in some new light?
I am enthusiastically supportive of REAL measurements and industry standard metric protocols. Use the appropriate scientific apparatus to take real measurements of the air, water and vegetation. Don't just count the CO2, but also the Oxygen levels produced by our forests. Too often these studies are nothing more than computer models based on the volume of fossil fuels sold in the study zone. SCIENCE apparently is the new touchstone based on making the COVID decisions, so let's see some real science in measuring the Yukon's GHG situation. Anything else will only be a calculated guess.

Up 36 Down 6

bonanzajoe on Mar 22, 2022 at 5:34 pm

Here's a thought Kate, why don't you buy an electric van and pick up your NDP reps - is that only 2 - and drive yourselves to work and back every day. Yeah, set an example for your ideological brothers in the Yukon Lieberal Party. Maybe, they will also get the hint and stop their talking and do some walking.

Up 43 Down 8

bonanzajoe on Mar 22, 2022 at 5:31 pm

Notice how these left wing so called experts shorten CO2/Carbon Dioxide to just carbon. It's to fool and deceive people. Ask any young person especially, what carbon is and they will most likely tell you its a dark soot in the air. And so they become afraid and swallow the lies of the climate change gurus - who by the way, are personally making millions off the scam. Its not carbon, its carbon dioxide. And it feeds the vegetation so vegetation can give back oxygen for all living things to breath. With out CO2, vegetation would dry out and burn up, and life on earth would be dangerous. I learned that in grade 6. As I pointed out before, its not CO2 thats destroying life, it's pollution. Let's clean up the pollution and leave life giving CO2 alone. One way to stop the millionaires and billionaires from profiting from this is to stop listening to their lying crap.

Up 50 Down 8

bonanzajoe on Mar 22, 2022 at 5:23 pm

This is what happens when leftys sit on their brains. Not much but gas comes out. Tredger, tell us how the Yukon in causing so much problems with carbon? How can only 40,000 people create a carbon footprint so large it's a danger to the planet? But, now I'm asking a lefty to think.

Up 24 Down 3

zelmo on Mar 22, 2022 at 4:32 pm

There is no post carbon infrastructure. get real.

Up 68 Down 9

Arn Anderson on Mar 22, 2022 at 3:02 pm

Disgusting, absolutely disgusting.

Up 77 Down 13

Bill on Mar 22, 2022 at 2:53 pm

Give it a rest.

Very soon you won't have to worry about GHG. We will likely be immersed in war that is going to take all we have at hand to come to terms with. As for fossil fuels - practice what you preach - get rid of everything you own that either has fossil fuel products, or took fossil fuels to bring it to you.

In simple terms - grow up and live in the real world!

Up 57 Down 16

Matthew on Mar 22, 2022 at 2:26 pm

LOL! So just and FYI, if you buy GMO, you contribute to the slow death of this planet. Please ask yourself why so much chemicals are being sprayed over foods that poison us, the soils, the air, and the water!? Stop pretending to care when you know nothing all, NDP and LPC nonsense, bankrupting the country to line their own pockets with money..

Up 54 Down 17

Wilf Carter on Mar 22, 2022 at 2:24 pm

Yukoner there is facts then there is BS. Let's look at this as someone who has studied this subject in Forestry engineering with one of my majors dendrology.
NDP and Liberals are barking up the wrong trees.
Yukon has over 6 million trees which all need carbon to create oxygen and nitrogen which 99% of the gases in our atmosphere but liberals and NDP refuse to list real science and the truth and just want spend money on things and close down the Yukon economy.
Mining is no more than 11% of carbon produced in Yukon at max and it is in the bush where trees need carbon.
Trucking is over 50% of carbon plus tourism which Liberals and NDP want to close down in Yukon.
So we close mining and all resource development and tourism, what do we have left far as economy goes? Nothing.
Why can't liberals and NDP listen to the real science not made up science by liberals?

Up 76 Down 8

TMYK on Mar 22, 2022 at 2:12 pm

I would be very interesting to see how much these organizations graft from the government. This includes a breakdown of wages and contracts.

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