Implementing Carbon Pricing in the NWT

Our current situation and challenges

Search Implementing Carbon Pricing in the NWT

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) 2018 National Inventory Report, the NWT produced 1,611 kilotonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission in 2016. Of these emissions:

  • approximately 97% were related to energy;
  • about 39% of NWT emissions can be attributed to electricity production and heating; and
  • some 57% of emissions are transportation related, comprised of:
  • 7% for aviation,
  • 25% for road transportation,
  • 24% for off-road primarily mining related activities, and
  • 1% for navigation and railways.

ECCC has estimated that implementing the federal backstop for carbon pricing would reduce NWT emissions by 3.4%.


Aviation is critical in the NWT. Information from Statistics Canada indicates a much greater reliance on air travel for residents and for transporting cargo than in the rest of Canada. For example, the average amount of air cargo per resident is ten times higher in the NWT compared with the rest of Canada.

Air transportation is also important part of economic development and a significant cost driver for businesses.

Heating fuel

Climate and price differences result in heating costs that are two or three times higher in NWT communities compared with the rest of Canada. Heating for a single detached dwelling is estimated to cost more than $7,000 annually in some NWT communities compared with about $2,000 annually in southern cities for a similar dwelling.

There are also significant differences within the NWT between amounts paid for heating by residents whether they are a homeowner, private market renter, or public housing tenant.