Young Leaders' Summit on Northern Climate Change


Climate Change and the North

Arctic SkyThe earth is warming. Greenhouse gas pollution must be reduced to avoid dangerous climate change.

Northerners are among the largest per person emitters of greenhouse gases, and the North will be heavily impacted by climate change.

International negotiations play a large part in determining how the world will respond to climate change. Countries are currently negotiating a binding agreement, called Kyoto II, on climate change targets and other commitments between 2012 and 2020. The Kyoto II protocol is part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The negotiation of Kyoto II is scheduled to wrap up at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Many Northern and Indigenous organizations are observers at the UNFCCC. However, for the most part Canadian Northern Indigenous peoples have been underrepresented at international climate change negotiations, and their voices have not been clearly reflected in Canada's positions at the international negotiations. There is a need to cultivate a new generation of young northern leaders who can speak on climate change in the North.

The Arctic Athabaskan Council, the Gwich'in Council International, Climate Action Network Canada, the Pembina Institute, and Ecology North are working together to strengthen northern voices in Canadian and international climate change policy. In particular, they are working with Northern Indigenous leaders who want to better understand the international climate negotiations and to effectively convey their concerns to decision makers and leaders.

Daniel T'SeleieA Dene Man's Appeal to Save His Culture

Daniel T'Seleie, a Dene living in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, was part of the Canadian Youth Delegation at the U.N. Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December 2009. He also participated in the 2009 Young Leaders' Summit on Northern Climate Change. Read Daniel's moving op-ed calling for action on climate change, which was published in the Edmonton Journal.

Inuvik Declaration on Arctic Climate Change and Global Action

The Inuvik Declaration on Arctic Climate Change and Global Action was released at the United Nations climate change negotiations in Poznan, Poland, in December, 2008. The declaration calls on the Government of Canada to show leadership in fighting global warming at home and abroad, and to provide a massive increase in financing to help Northern Canada reduce emissions and adapt to the impact of climate change. For background information about the declaration, as well as information about the founding organizations, please read "Northern Voices In The Global Climate."