Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Yukon

One of the Yukon government’s four climate change goals is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Efforts to reduce GHG emissions are also known as "mitigation."

About GHG emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions are just one of the pollutants driving climate change. The most well-known GHG, carbon dioxide (CO2) accounts for the majority of the human caused emissions. Because CO2 lasts for decades to centuries in the earth’s atmosphere, lowering CO2 emissions now will help to reduce long-term negative impacts.

Emissions of short lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) also contribute to climate change. These are methane, black carbon, hydrofluorocarbon and tropospheric ozone. They stay in the atmosphere for only a few days to a few decades, but are much more potent than CO2. For example, methane is 25 times more harmful than CO2 over a 100 year lifespan, or 56 times more potent over 20 years.

Yukon's GHG emissions

Yukon accounts for less than one per cent of Canada’s overall GHG emissions. Although the volume is small, the government recognizes the importance of managing GHG emissions and has set targets for each major sector of Yukon’s economy. For updates on progress towards all targets, see the 2015 Climate Change Action Plan Progress Report.


Government of Yukon greenhouse gas emissions

Since 2009, the Government of Yukon has been focused on reducing emissions from our internal operations, which account for about six per cent of total GHG emissions in Yukon.


Government of Yukon Total Verified GHG Emissions

  2010 2011 2012
Kilotonnes CO2e emissions N/A 42.3 40.7



Emissions reports for 2011 - 2012 for the Yukon government's internal operations are available at The Climate Registry.

As the Government of Yukon worked to complete the 2013 summary of the GHG emissions from its internal operations, it was determined that the government’s reporting methodology had improved significantly and the data sets were no longer comparable to the 2010 baseline year.

The Yukon government indexed the 2013 data using the 2010 inventory in order to provide a comparable preliminary number in the 2015 Climate Change Action Plan. The indexing exercise means that the 2010 methodology was applied to the 2013 data in order to provide a comparable preliminary number. This preliminary assessment showed that emissions from internal government operations have increased by 0.7% or 0.3 kilotonnes compared to 2010. (This data is subject to revision.)

Work is still underway to update the Yukon government’s 2010 baseline data for its internal operations to enable accurate year-to-year reporting. Data accuracy is an essential part of tracking and managing greenhouse gas emissions and the government remains committed to ensuring that this is done properly. Work to improve our inventory and process allows this government to remain transparent and accountable for emissions activity and targets.


Actions to reduce emissions

We’ve taken actions to reduce GHG emissions in Yukon. These include:

See the Yukon government’s 2015 Climate Change Action Plan Progress Report for more details.

Additional resources


Contact the Climate Change Secretariat

Phone: 867-456-5544
Toll-free (in Yukon, NWT & Nunavut):
1-800-661-0408 ext. 5544
Fax: 867-456-5543

Email: climatechange@gov.yk.ca
Address: Box 2703 (V-205) Whitehorse, Yukon Canada Y1A 2C6