NT Government putting the gas cart before the climate horse

With today’s release of the Interim Report of the NT Fracking Inquiry, and the start of construction on the Northern Gas Pipeline this week, the Arid Lands Environment Centre is calling on the Northern Territory Government to immediately develop a climate policy to guide decisions on major energy infrastructure.

“Its’ been a big week about gas, renewable energy and climate change and what has been really highlighted is the lack of climate policy both here in the Territory and Federally. If we are serious about meeting emission targets there must be the climate policy in place to guide future decisions about major energy infrastructure,” said Jimmy Cocking, Director of the Arid Lands Environment Centre. 

“The Interim Report of the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the NT provides a balanced view on the issue of fracking and acknowledges the depth of community concern on this issue. It acknowledges the real risks to our environment, the community and the climate. 

“However the report clearly states the final decision on fracking will be with the NT Government. ALEC has serious concerns that without a climate policy the NT Government will be making decisions without a clear pathway towards reducing emissions. 

“ALEC notes that in the Economic Development Framework recently developed by the NT Government an action listed in the appendix of the document is to develop a climate policy over the next three years.”

“However climate is something that needs more than an appendix listing, It should be at the forefront of that document, and all other major government documents and processes – Developing the North, the Roadmap to Renewables and the Fracking Inquiry. The Government needs to take an integrated approach to policy making as global warming transcends energy and economics.”

“While G20 leaders (minus the United States) re-affirmed their commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement this week, the NT Government has been celebrating the construction of Jemena’s Northern Gas pipeline.”

“If the pipeline is completed as planned the Territory’s emissions will increase over the next ten years, especially if the NT is opened up to fracking. This is not the road we should be travelling.

“We have written to the NT Government urging them to immediately develop a climate policy, and to continue the moratorium on fracking until it is clear how the NT Government will reduce emissions and meet its renewable energy targets.”

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