Climate change on the agenda in the Northern Territory ‒ have your say on future policy directions

By Nicole Besgrove, Margaret Michaels
11 Oct 2018
There is now opportunity to inform the Northern Territory Government's policy directions to address climate change impacts in the Territory, with submissions closing on 30 November 2018.

The NT Government has already committed to achieving 50% renewable energy by 2030 as per it's Roadmap to Renewables, introduced new environment protection legislation, is developing an offsets policy and it is understood that discussions with the Prime Minister on offsetting greenhouse gas emissions have commenced.

As a further step in its climate change agenda, on 5 October 2018 the NT Government released its Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Opportunities in the Northern Territory Discussion Paper which outlines the key impacts of climate change in the Territory, the current actions being undertaken in response to these impacts and opportunities for future action. Feedback received during the consultation period will inform policy directions for the Territory with respect to the following:

  • managing the impacts to the natural environment
  • minimising the impacts to health and wellbeing, and on infrastructure and assets
  • creating policy certainty for industry and community
  • facilitating opportunities for existing industries to adapt; and
  • supporting opportunities and growth of new industries that can potentially arise from mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Discussion Paper

The Discussion Paper discusses the following key topics and contains a series of questions throughout to guide the feedback that is currently being sought from stakeholders and the community.

Key climate change impacts: the key climate change impacts identified as being expected for the Territory include changes with respect to variable rainfall, droughts, number of days over 35°C, bushfire intensity, sea level rise, temperatures, economic costs of extreme weather events, evapotranspiration (ie a combination of evaporation and plant transpiration from the Earth’s land and ocean surface to the atmosphere), and intensity of extreme weather events.

Key growth and development sector impacts, actions and opportunities to mitigate and adapt: the Discussion Paper outlines the current impacts, actions currently being undertaken and opportunities for further action for the following key growth and development sectors that are being impacted by climate change:

  • primary industries and fisheries;
  • biodiversity and ecosystems;
  • business and industry (resources, tourism, small and medium business);
  • built environment and infrastructure;
  • health and well-being; and
  • emergency services and national security/defence.

Additional areas of opportunity: the Discussion Paper identifies additional areas which may provide opportunity to manage and minimise the impacts of climate change including renewable energy (what is currently being done and future opportunities) and carbon economy (such as carbon sequestration projects, voluntary carbon credit sand further developing Aboriginal carbon management program).

Have your say

It is understood that in the coming weeks, consultation will be taking place in Darwin, Palmerston and rural areas, Katherine, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs and Nhulunbuy.

Submissions with respect to the Discussion Paper can be made by completing a survey or providing your written submission via email or post in accordance with the details provided on the Have Your Say NT website.

Please contact us if you would like any assistance with drafting your submission on the Discussion Paper.

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