Climate Change


We are a partner in GNWT-wide efforts to apply traditional and scientific knowledge to mitigate and adapt to climate change. We are also an important partner in the GNWT’s Greenhouse Gas Strategy through our development of a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan, and our Climate Change Adaptations Plan sets out how we will continue to operate a safe and reliable transportation network.

Climate change adaptation means taking actions to reduce the negative impacts of climate change and variability and taking advantage of new opportunities that may be presented.

Our ecosystems, people, traditional lifestyles and infrastructure are all dependent on cold subarctic and arctic climates in the NWT.  With a more variable climate, we will have to adjust and find solutions to doing things in new ways.

While mitigation addresses greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change, adaptation is concerned with how we plan and adjust to changed (more variable) climatic conditions and their impacts on people, ecosystems and infrastructure. Our work to adapt includes:

  • Using risk management protocols to determine the vulnerability of DOT infrastructure.
  • Considering climate change adaptation in planned construction or upgrades.
  • Evaluating new technologies such as thermosyphons to maintain permafrost under foundations.
  • Increased monitoring (including climatic monitoring).
  • Participating in coordinated NWT adaptation initiatives.
  • Researching landscape disturbance and hydrology, including permafrost melt.
  • Sharing knowledge and best practices.