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Government seeking candidates for new climate council

With climate change fresh on the minds of many Yukoners, the Yukon government is calling for people to help do something about it.
A road in Marsh Lake protected from rising water by mud and plastic berm. A climate council is being formed as a summer packed with major weather events comes to a close. (Lawrie Crawford/Yukon News)

With climate change fresh on the minds of many Yukoners, the Yukon government is calling for people to help do something about it.

The Climate Change Secretariat is forming a new Yukon Climate Leadership Council and wants people to step forward.

“We’re really looking for folks that have breadth of view that can be, sort of ambitious, but also realistic,” says Rebecca Turpin, director of the Climate Change Secretariat.

The Yukon Climate Leadership Council will be a working committee charged with making recommendations on how the Yukon can reach its new goal of a 45 per cent greenhouse gas emission reduction target by 2030. The previous goal called for a 30 per cent reduction in emissions.

“This will most certainly require some innovation, potentially new actions or actions with increased targets,” Turpin said. “It will be up to the council to make those calls.”

The council will be arm’s length, with the government providing some administrative support. It will determine its own process and workplan, and receive renumeration for meetings and travel.

“We anticipate that the council will put together a report of recommendations to the government by spring of 2022. As soon as the report is submitted, the council will cease to exist, they’ll have essentially done their job,” Turpin said.

She does not expect that the council will exceed a dozen people.

The advertised call states that they are “seeking applications from people with technical expertise, traditional knowledge or lived experience related to the impacts of climate change in the Yukon, and hope that candidates will have experience with advising or making recommendations to decision makers, demonstrate an ability to apply critical thinking, problem-solve and work in a team.”

They are asking for a resume and a cover letter by Aug. 30 at 4:30 p.m.

The establishment of the council and the higher targets are part of the confidence and supply agreement that was made between the Liberal government and the NDP caucus on April 28, 2021.

The Yukon Climate Leadership Council will be using Our Clean Future: A Yukon strategy for climate change, energy and a green economy as a framework. That document contains 131 actions, a few of which have been completed.

Turpin reminds, “We are looking for technical experts and folks that have experience with climate emissions, and a good understanding of what it might take to get to the new goal of 45 per cent. And that is why our purpose is not to tell the council what they should be doing.

“We’re going to leave it to them to come up with these kinds of ideas.”

Contact Lawrie Crawford at