Economic implications of climate change adaptations for mine access roads in northern Canada

A multi-disciplinary team developed a cost-benefit analysis for adaptation options for a major northern mine access road.

The Tibbitt to Contwoyto winter road provides access to three active mines in the Northwest Territories and is built mainly over frozen lakes. Researchers looked at the key climate change vulnerabilities associated with the ice road, and potential adaptations that could be used to modify the road. They conducted an analysis of the financial costs and benefits associated with those vulnerabilities and adaptations and the distribution of those costs and benefits.

The resulting study provides decision-makers of government and industry, with the information and tools, including the cost of implementing adaptations, to help them make choices about transportation in a changing climate. The project could also be a model for climate change cost-benefit analysis in other regions and on other types of infrastructure.

Project Team

Project Lead:

  • Alison Perrin, Climate Change Education and Project Coordinator, Yukon Research Centre
  • Lacia Kinnear, Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives, University and External Relations

Economic analytics:

  • David Sawyer, International Institute for Sustainable Development & EnviroEconomics
  • Jason Dion, International Institute for Sustainable Development
  • Melissa Harris, International Institute for Sustainable Development

Climate impacts and adaptation analyses:

  • Heather Auld, Risk Sciences International
  • Dr. Neil Comer, Risk Sciences International
  • Simon Eng, Analyst, Risk Sciences International
  • Erik Sparling, Director, Risk Sciences International

Vulnerability assessment:

  • Joel Nodelman, P.Eng., Nodelcorp Consulting Inc.
  • Joan Nodelman, Nodelcorp Consulting Inc.
  • Risk Sciences International (RSI)
  • International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
  • Nodelcorp Consulting Inc.
  • EnviroEconomics

With support from Natural Resources Canada through the Adaptation Platform's Mining Working Group