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Focus of NT Government China Visit Should Be Renewables Not Fossil Fuels 3.11.16

The Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC) is very disappointed that the NT Government’s focus in China this week has been on building support for oil and gas projects, instead of building relationships and support for renewable energy industries. 

In a media release last week regarding his Chinese visit Mr Gunner said that ‘Darwin was emerging as a key international oil and gas hub with multi-billion dollar projects in full swing’.  In meetings this week Mr Gunner has met with Chinese shareholders in the Jemena Northern Gas Pipeline project.

In December 2015 Australia signed the Paris Climate Agreement, which seeks to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C - the upper limit being 2C. This global target requires 80% of all known fossil fuel deposits to remain unburned and in the ground. 

“Despite pre-election commitments to a 50% renewable energy target for the NT by 2030, it seems the Gunner Government is still engaging a full steam ahead approach with the fossil fuel industry. This is not in line with what needs to happen if we have a chance of tackling runaway climate change,” said Jimmy Cocking, Director of the Arid Lands Environment Centre.

“The science is in. We need a distinct change in approach away from fossil fuels and need to see immediate planning and investment into renewable energy. China became the worlds largest investor in renewable energy last year – it would have been great to see the NT Government building relationships with the Chinese renewable energy sector instead of oil and gas companies,” said Jimmy Cocking.

“ALEC is staunchly opposed to the proposed Northern Gas Pipeline (NGP) due to its enabling effects on the Northern Territory onshore gas industry. The stated economic justification for this project is to ‘stimulate the development of the Northern Territory through increased gas exploration and production’, however the world is already facing an over supply of gas for the next decade – why search for, dig up and most likely frack for more?”

“We simply cannot have any new fossil fuel projects if we are to address climate change. All countries, governments and communities must play their part. The NT Government must understand the seriousness of this issue and ALEC will be opposing this pipeline every step of the way.”

“ALEC does not believe the NT Government will meet its renewable energy targets whilst at the same time developing the oil and gas industry, and is calling for the release of the Renewable Energy Roadmap to provide clarity to NT residents.”

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