A comprehensive climate policy is urgently needed to outline how the Northern Territory will reduce emissions, provide certainty for business and the economy, and to plan for how urban and remote NT communities can adjust to a warming world.
The Northern Territory is especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change with a predicted increase in extreme heat days (over 35 degrees Celsius), an increase in the severity of extreme weather events, changes to water availability, and an increase in the rate of sea-level rise and number of extreme sea-level events. CSIRO modelling estimates that without climate action the number of days above 35 degrees in Darwin could increase from 22.2 days to 275 days per year in 2070.
The Northern Territory is already being impacted with increased temperatures, the loss of large swathes of mangroves across the Top End, coral reef bleaching, increased weed spread and changing seasons. Unfortunately Northern Territory emissions are continuing to rise and will rise exponentially with opening the Territory up to fracking.
The Northern Territory Government’s recently released Climate Change Response: Towards 2050 is welcome but lacks detail about how the Territory will reduce emissions and even proposes an increase in carbon emissions over the next ten years.
Public submissions to the Climate Change Response are now closed however please email NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner directly firstname.lastname@example.org with your concerns.
Read the ECNT submission here
The ECNT acknowledges that the Climate Change Response is a positive first step by the NT Government and the proposal to develop a ‘Solar and Renewable Hydrogen Strategy’ and the growth of a renewable based economy provides an extraordinary opportunity for economic growth, local jobs, new industries and a viable alternative to new fossil fuel developments for the Northern Territory.
It is imperative that the NTG develops a detailed plan to achieve rapid emissions reductions to avoid the worst climate impacts, support people and businesses to adapt, build community resilience, and ensure everyone in our community has the opportunity to participate in and benefit from the transition to a zero emissions economy. This plan should include robust adaptation strategies to address the changes already impacting the NT.
The disproportionate effect that both the causes and impacts of climate change are having on Aboriginal land, culture and communities must be acknowledged. Justice for Aboriginal people and respect for First Nations’ knowledge must form a central part of our response to climate change in the Northern Territory.
THE ECNT is calling on the Northern Territory Government to commit to: