The Arid Lands Environment Centre welcomes the release of the Northern Territory Government’s Climate Change Discussion paper, but has serious concerns that the paper downplays the urgency of the situation and the role of government in leading climate action.
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 will exponentially rise if the Territory is opened up to gas fracking,” said Jimmy Cocking, CEO of the Arid Lands Environment Centre.
“Whilst there are good opportunities for action identified in the discussion paper, ultimately the pursuit of a gas economy will undermine all other action.”
“Gas is not a transition fuel. The world is moving to renewable energy, which is now the fastest growing new source of energy on the planet. A lot of developing economies are leap-frogging fossil fuels and moving straight to renewables. The Territory needs to get on board, not be left behind.”
“We urge Territorians to read the discussion paper and engage with the process of developing an ambitious climate change strategy for the NT.”
“However we feel it is important for people to write their own submissions, noting that some of the questions in the Have Your Say online survey are framed in a certain way and do not adequately cover the impacts of gas fracking or the opportunities with renewable energy,” said Jimmy Cocking.
Find the Climate Change Discussion Paper at https://haveyoursay.nt.gov.au/climatechange
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