The Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC) has serious concerns the draft Strategic Economic Framework and Infrastructure Plan currently being developed by the Northern Territory Government is not addressing climate change and moving to a low-carbon economy.
Whilst ALEC welcomes the engagement of the community in the Territory Economic Summits and commends the Gunner Government for this approach, the current plan looks set to increase carbon emissions considerably.
ALEC has concerns that there is a lack of analysis of global trends in mitigating climate change influencing this economic framework. ALEC is concerned that climate change has received minimal consideration in the current drafts of the documents and that the plan will require further urgent assessment through a carbon emission and climate vulnerability lens.
“In a world with a changing climate, the model of infinite economic growth must be questioned. Whilst bringing prosperity (to some) and improvements in living standards, this model of infinite economic growth has also brought about the biggest threat to that prosperity – climate change. We just have to look at the flooded Eastern Seaboard to see what increased extreme weather events look like – and also examine the economic cost of that,” said Jimmy Cocking, Director of the Arid Lands Environment Centre.
“Climate change is already having impacts here in the Territory, be it mass mangrove deaths in the Gulf of Carpentaria, changing rainfall patterns as a result of a warming Indian Ocean or the fact that March 2017 was 7 degrees hotter than average in Alice Springs. Climate Change is real and it is happening now and any future economic plan has to address moving to a low carbon economy,” said Mr Cocking.
“ALEC recommends that the NT Government develop a Decarbonisation Plan to assist the NT to reach zero net emissions by 2050. A decarbonisation plan will provide a structured process for decision-making when considering which industries, projects and infrastructure will be required and supported,” said Mr Cocking.
Key Priorities identified in the ALEC Submission to the Draft Strategic NT Economic Framework and Infrastructure Plan
- Develop a Northern Territory Decarbonisation Plan - Towards zero emissions in 2050
- Decouple economic development from greenhouse gas emissions and unsustainable industries.
- Reframe the need to reduce emissions as an economic opportunity for significant development in resilient growth industries.
- Understand climate change as a multiplier of vulnerability and uncertainty across all sectors.
- Ensuring economic imperatives for growth remain connected to measures of social and cultural wellbeing and ecological sustainability.
- Climate change adaptation and resilience should be principles guiding infrastructure development.
Public submissions to the Territory Economic Growth Plan closed Monday 3rd April, however ALEC urges all Territorians who are concerned about climate change to write to Chief Minister Gunner and Treasurer Nicole Manison to demand that the NT Government Economic Growth Plan include actions to shift to a low carbon economy.