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Five Point NT Gas Strategy Will Cook Climate

The Northern Territory’s Gunner Government is actively choosing to further damage the climate with the announcement today of a NT Gas Task Force and Five Point NT Gas Strategy at the South East Asia Australia Offshore and Onshore Conference in Darwin.

Chief Minister Gunner has recently returned from a business trip to China, where he has been spruiking Northern Territory gas. His business trip adds to growing concerns about the monopoly ownership of strategic assets, including gas pipelines, by Chinese owned companies.

The Northern Territory Government is increasingly ignoring the risks of climate change, and as the rest of the world takes action, the NT is actively choosing to damage the climate further.

NT emissions have risen 28% over the last 10 years, and are set to increase immensely with the INPEX Ichthys project coming online, the proposed opening up of the Territory to shale gas fracking, new land clearing permits, and increased offshore gas processing.

The Arid Lands Environment Centre recommends that the NT Government abandon the Five Point NT Gas Strategy and urgently adopt a Five Point NT Climate Strategy.

  1. Develop a comprehensive climate policy with a target of net zero emissions by 2050
  2. Ban fracking (one of the easiest ways to stop emissions rising)
  3. Invest in land based carbon capture and storage methodologies eg. carbon farming
  4. Invest in large-scale renewable energy projects to support the rapid transition to renewable energy needed in South East Asia.
  5. Support NT communities to adapt to global warming

“The Northern Territory is at a cross-roads and the Northern Territory Government is taking us down the wrong path,” said Jimmy Cocking, CEO of the Arid Lands Environment Centre.

“With climate impacts already being felt, we need strong leadership and urgent action. Michael Gunner needs to get off the gas and get onto a sustainable vision for the Territory.”

“Our world class tourism industry, indigenous ranger programs and emerging renewable energy industries will bring boundless opportunities with lasting impacts for many communities in the NT.”

“The world is heating up and it’s going to get harder to live comfortably in the Territory. The Gunner Government acknowledges the threat of climate change but is failing to act. We urge the Northern Territory Government to step up and show real climate leadership,” said Jimmy Cocking.

Northern Territorians will be joining thousands of people across the globe at #RiseForClimate events this Saturday 8thSeptember, demanding world leaders take urgent climate action.


  • The Northern Territory Government does not have a current climate policy
  • The Northern Territory Government is currently formulating a climate ‘framework’ which may not contain emission reduction targets
  • The NT currently produces 3% of Australian emissions, with only 1% of the population. Australians are one of the highest polluting people per capita on the planet, and Territorians are the highest per capita polluters in Australia.
  • NT emissions have risen 28% over the last 10 years
  • NT emissions will continue to rise with the INPEX Ichthys project, the proposed opening up of the Territory to unconventional gas production, new land clearing permits, and increased offshore gas processing
  • When the INPEX Ichthys project comes online in 2018, the project is expected to emit an average of 7 million tonnes of greenhouse gases per year
  • Once the Ichthys Project is fully operational, onshore and offshore emissions are expected to account for approximately 1.2% of Australia’s total CO2
  • Exploiting the Territory’s unconventional gas reserves could increase Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions by over 5%.
  • If the Beetaloo Basin in the NT is fracked it is estimated that the carbon emissions will be 4-5 times that of the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine
  • The NT Government has put 15,000 km2 into special reserved land for coal development in the Perdirka Basin
  • Land targeted for clearing in the Northern Territory has increased nearly tenfold in the past two years
  • In 2016 and 2017, the NT government approved about 45,500ha of land for clearing through the Pastoral Lands Board. That was an almost tenfold jump over the average of the previous 12 years of about 4,600ha
  • The number of days over 35C in Darwin has increased from 5.6 per year to 22.2 per year. CSIRO modeling estimates that without climate action this could rise to 132 days per year in 2030 and 275 days per year in 2070.


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