Young Leaders' Summit on Northern Climate Change


2009 Young Leaders' Summit on Northern Climate Change

August 17–20, 2009
Inuvik, Northwest Territories

"I hope that leading up to Copenhagen, along with other young people from across the country, we can make our government listen and build a stronger Canadian position going into Copenhagen. These young people are on the right track and their message is important."                          —Dennis Bevington, Western Arctic Member of Parliament

For four days in August, 2009, young leaders converged in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, to discuss climate change, share their stories and build their skills.

The goal of the summit was to empower young leaders to tackle the greatest challenge facing the planet—climate change.

On August 20, the 60 young Canadians who particpated in the summit issued a declaration that laid out a call for action on northern climate change. The declaration highlights four areas of concern about the progress of climate change issues and upcoming negotiations and concludes with a call for action.

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Summit Presentations Cover Key Climate Change Issues

From communicating about climate change to climate change adaptation, presentations at the summit covered a range of topics. Notes from the presentations are available here:

Northern Leaders Represented at Summit

A number of northern dignitaries attended the Young Leaders' Summit on Northern Climate Change, including:

  • Dennis Bevington, Member of Parliament for the Western Arctic
  • Chief Herbert Blake of the Inuvik Native Band, President of the Nihtat Gwich'in Council
  • Michael Miltenberger, Government of the Northwest Territories Minister of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Richard Nerysoo, President of the Gwich'in Tribal Council, former Premier of the Northwest Territories

Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Inuit climate change activist, provided an address by video to the summit attendees about the importance of northerners communicating climate change impacts to the world.

A number of the delegates had the opportunity to speak with Floyd Roland, Premier of the Northwest Territories, as well as Inuvik Mayor Derek Lindsay and Inuvik Deputy Mayor Chris Larocque.

A number of other leaders and dignitaries were invited to the summit but unable to attend, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Several leaders who could not attend sent their best wishes for the success of the summit:

Young Leaders in Action: Photos From the Summit


The action-packed four-day summit included a mixture of outdoor field-trips, indoor lectures and participatory activities. The agenda is available here:

Green Event Plan

The summit co-hosts prepared a Green Event Plan to minimize theenvironmental impacts of the Young Leaders' Summit on Northern Climate Change. The summit hosts are striving to achieve a carbon neutral event and to reduce or eliminate any negative environmental consequences of the event.

As part of the Green Event Plan, carbon offsets were purchased to address greenhouse gas emissions associated with the summit. The Carbon Offset Certificate covers the round-trip travel of nine facilitators to the event, as well as the electricity used to operate the Midnight Sun Recreation Centre in Inuvik during the four-day summit.

Thank You Young Leaders!

The co-hosts of the Young Leaders' Summit on Northern Climate Change would like to thank summit participants for their enthusiasm, ideas, creativity and commitment to the summit. Read the letter here.