Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, within the broad framework of the non-renewable resource strategy for the Government of the Northwest Territories, I would like to raise the issue of the need for a territorial energy strategy once again.
As we know, with international conferences, interest tends to peek at the conference, and then drift away. Mr. Speaker, this is not the case with the Kyoto Accord and conference. The issue of greenhouse gases and the need to reduce the emissions of these gases continues to be raised around the world and across the country.
Mr. Speaker, the 1990s was the warmest decade in recorded history. I think we just have to look around our own environment to see that, with the ice road closing in March. To me, that is a very early indication of how important this issue is. The Northwest Territories is a major contributor to the greenhouse gas problem on a per-capita basis. It is a key part of the need for a broad, comprehensive territorial energy strategy.
While I have not talked about it in the past, Mr. Speaker, I would like to touch on this briefly today. That is the role municipalities can play in this strategy. According to the Pembina Institute, municipalities control, either directly or indirectly, more than half of all the emissions released in Canada of greenhouse gases. Direct control comes from municipal buildings and operations, such as the provision of water and waste management. In our case, Mr. Speaker, this is all of our diesel, power plants and the provision of electrical services at the community level.
Mr. Speaker, many communities and municipalities across Canada are already exploring what they can do in this area, through improving building design, shifting to cleaner, renewable energy sources, improving efficiencies in transportation and making good decisions about land use.
Mr. Speaker, many municipalities have joined Partners for Climate Protection, a program sponsored by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. As part of the territorial government's comprehensive energy strategy, they should be encouraging all municipalities to develop community energy plans of their own. The energy strategy should have the municipalities, along with the Northwest Territories Power Corporation, as key partners in the design and implementation of the strategy. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.