Thank you, Mr. Speaker. There has been an unexpected silver lining resulting from the pandemic lockdown, and that's a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Flying, commuting, power generation, and industrial production have all fallen dramatically. A study in the journal "Nature" estimates global emissions have decreased by 17 percent and, in Canada, by 20 per cent. That reduction puts Canada almost halfway to meeting its Paris Accord targets that will hold global warming at 1.5 degrees.
Mr. Speaker, experts warn this change is likely going to be short-lived. When work and travel resume, greenhouse gas emissions will go right back up again. In fact, they may climb even higher than they were pre-lockdown. That's been the pattern of other economic slowdowns. What if this time is different?
Mr. Speaker, we have an historic opportunity to restart our economy with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions front and centre. The sudden transition from fossil fuels has shown us what is possible. Industry, government, and individuals must now investigate how to prolong and entrench these reductions. One place to start is to continue to replace diesel with renewable energy. GNWT has done some good work in this area already by installing biomass heat in public buildings. We have also invested in solar and wind power pilot projects and replaced old diesel generators with more efficient variable-speed models.
The next logical step is to invest in building retrofits. A report from Ecology North released in April last year makes the case for building a northern retrofit economy. The authors estimate an impressive 9-percent return on investments on retrofits over 10 years because of reduced utility costs. That means a reduction in the cost of living, a move every Northerner would welcome, but that's not all. Investment in a retrofit economy where people install better insulation and windows, for example, would create 123 jobs and add $15 million to the GDP of the Northwest Territories over the next 10 years. These gains are modest, but the effects are far-reaching. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement. Thank you.
---Unanimous consent granted