NT government told to take bolder action on climate change
6 November 2019 at 4:40 pm
Community groups want the NT government to legislate targets of 100 per cent renewables by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050
A coalition of Northern Territory community groups are urging the government to consider the harmful effects of climate change on the most vulnerable Territorians and take bolder action to reduce emissions.
The call follows the recent release of the NT government’s draft Climate Change Response, which includes an aspirational target of net zero emissions by 2050.
The community group coalition – including Jesuit Social Services, Protect Country Alliance, and Environment Centre NT – welcomed the government’s response but said it did not go far enough.
In a joint statement, it is calling on the NT government to legislate targets and ensure the benefits of a clean energy transition flow to local communities.
Environment Centre NT director Shar Molloy said aspirations were good, but they needed to be backed up by legislation.
“We need legislated targets of 100 per cent renewables by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050, along with a clear pathway to get there, requiring all industries and sectors to play their part,” Molloy said.
John Adams, the NT general manager at Jesuit Social Services, said the climate response must be built on the principles of climate justice while also building resilience for the NT’s most disadvantaged citizens.
“[This can be done] for example, by providing housing that is climate appropriate, access to affordable clean energy, disaster resilient infrastructure as we face more extreme weather events and planning that ensures water and food security, particularly for our remote regions,” Adams said.
The coalition also said justice for Indigenous people and respect for First Nations’ knowledge “must be the foundation of our collective response”.
The NT government said the transition to a low-carbon economy must be carefully managed to ensure ongoing economic investment in the territory.
It noted that under different solar and energy efficiency government grants since 2016, the territory has saved almost $10 million a year, while reducing emissions equivalent to taking 7,000 cars off the road.
NT Minister for Climate Change Eva Lawler said the government developed the plan to protect the Territory lifestyle for years to come.
“Territorians support action on climate change, want more renewables and want to see our environment protected for future generations,” Lawler said.
“Responding to climate change helps us protect the things we value the most – the things we can’t put a price on – and will create economic opportunities for Territorians and Territory businesses through the creation of new industries and local jobs.”