In an attempt to address the fact that "climate change is already having a significant impact in Nunavut," Nunavut’s minister of Environment Daniel Shewchuk announced the release of the territory’s plan to address climate change going forward: Upagiaqtavut Setting the Course, Impacts and Adaptation in Nunavut.

Because Nunavut’s contribution to the global warming problem is very small (in terms of GHG emissions for instance), the document is primarily reactive, focusing less on what Nunavut can do to decrease its contribution to global warming and more on how it can address the potentially enormous impacts of climate change on its land, economy and residents. The government’s approach revolves around four components, or napui:

  • Napuk 1Partnership Building – focuses on identifying and developing partnerships with other governments, industry, stakeholder groups and within the government of Nunavut to coordinate efforts.
  • Napuk 2 – Research and Monitoring – involves efforts to monitor and assess the impact of climate change in Nunavut.
  • Napuk 3 – Education and Outreach – includes the general spread of information to all interested parties, but will also specifically involve the “transfer of knowledge and skills from elders to youth.”
  • Napuk 4 – Government Policy and Planning – requires the integration of “climate change considerations” into the decision making process at all levels of government.

Key to the implementation of these napui is the establishment of an interdepartmental working group that will guide the territory through this process.

The paper concludes on a positive note, placing climate change as the next on a long list of difficult obstacles that the Nunavummiut have already successfully overcome.