Climate Action for the NT

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 provide planning for how urban and remote NT communities will 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 sea-level rise and 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 have risen 28% over the last ten years and are continuing to rise.

Sign the NT Climate Petition here

ALEC is a strong voice for climate action in the NT and with Environment Centre NT presented the NT Climate Response Government to the Northern Territory Government in September 2018. The Statement has 36 signatories urging the NT Government to set a net zero emissions by 2050 target.

See the NT Climate Response Statement

For more information download the NT Climate Change Brief

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Alice Springs residents send a strong message for action at the September 2018 #RiseForClimate event. Image by Oliver Eclipse.

ALEC is calling on the Northern Territory Government to lead on delivering ambitious and effective climate change action including:

Net zero emissions by 2050 (mitigation)

Climate resilient communities (adaptation) 

1. Legislate a Northern Territory Climate Change Act

  • establish a long-term emissions reduction target of net zero by 2050
  • introduce a new set of policy objectives and an updated set of guiding principles to embed climate change in government decision making
  • the NT Government will develop a Climate Change Strategy every five years, which will set out how Northern Territory will meet its targets and adapt to the impacts of climate change (from 2020)
  • develop Adaptation Action Plans for key systems and communities that are either vulnerable to the impacts of climate change or essential to ensure Northern Territory is prepared (from 2020)
  • establish a system to reduce emissions in the government sector and across the economy
  • establish a system of periodic reporting to provide transparency, accountability and ensure the community remains informed.

(adapted from the Victorian Climate Change Act 2017 - https://www.climatechange.vic.gov.au/legislation/climate-change-act-2017)

2. Develop a NT Climate Change Strategy

Overarching strategy to ensure an equitable and planned decarbonisation of the NT economy

  • no new fossil fuel projects or infrastructure policy
  • reduce emissions in all sectors (agriculture, mining, transport etc)
  • develop opportunities for carbon sequestration including stronger controls for land clearing
  • plan for equitable transitioning of workforce to a low carbon economy 

3. Develop Climate Action Plans

Regional Adaptation Action Plans

  • Develop Top End, Gulf Savannah, Barkly & Arid Lands plans (as per Territory NRM Plan)
  • Incorporate community engagement, vulnerability/risk assessments
  • Build local resilience

Repowering the NT (Renewable Energy Action Plan)

  • 100% renewable energy target by 2030
  • develop energy efficiency and demand management programs for residential and commercial sectors
  • invest in world leading remote power systems

Land (and Sea) Based Carbon Reduction Plan

  • develop carbon methodology for the desert regions
  • investigate suitability of carbon crops eg. algae, hemp
  • develop methane reduction strategies for the pastoral industry
  • enhance use of mosaic burning for carbon reduction

Climate Smart Towns and City Plan

  • incorporate climate strategy into the NT planning scheme
  • mandate for local governments to reduce emissions eg landfill
  • ensuring liveability of NT towns

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Protecting the outback and catalysing the essential change needed to tackle climate change and create a sustainable future is a big task and we need your support to do it. Sign up here for more information on how you can support the work of the Arid Lands Environment Centre