Kluane Adamek, Yukon’s Assembly of First Nations regional chief, has issued a statement regarding the recent Supreme Court ruling on carbon pricing.
The Canadian Supreme Court ruled on March 25 that the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act is constitutional. The carbon pricing was challenged by the Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta governments, who argued that the two-tiered pricing undermined provincial authority over natural resources.
The Assembly of First Nations intervened in the case, arguing that the federal government is legally obligated to recognize treaty rights in tandem with addressing climate change.
Adamek is the chair of the assembly’s Advisory Committee on Climate Action and the Environment.
“The impact of climate change is felt everywhere, especially in the north,” Adamek said in a statement issued on March 26. “First Nations require immediate actions and rights-based approaches.”
Federal initiatives should be implemented with concurrent respect for First Nations’ autonomy over traditional territory, she continued.
“While we embrace these efforts to mitigate the damage of greenhouse gas emissions, we stand firm that First Nations rights, title and jurisdiction over their traditional territories is paramount when considering carbon pricing, and by extension climate solutions,” Adamek said.
“First Nations have been leaders in proposing transformative strategies for environmental protection. We must ensure that following this Supreme Court ruling, implementation and enforcement of the GGPPA will respect First Nations jurisdiction, title and rights as stewards of the land.”
The assembly is working to develop solutions to carbon pricing on the unique circumstances of First Nations, according to a press release. One considered solution is revenue recycling mechanisms that will minimize the impact of carbon pricing.
“Chiefs–in–Assembly reaffirmed these calls, in addition to the need for financial support for First Nations to explore the implications and opportunities of carbon pricing on their territories, including their participation in the clean energy economy,” the press release says.
Contact Gabrielle Plonka at firstname.lastname@example.org