The NT Government has still not said how it plans to tackle the increase in greenhouse gases resulting from the development of an onshore gas industry.
There was little mention of the long debated subject in its Climate Change Response released today.
The NT Government wants to know what citizens think about its approach to climate change.
Today's release builds on an earlier discussion paper and outlines the Government's approach to addressing climate risk and creating new economic and business opportunities.
The NT Government has set an a long-term "aspirational" target of net zero emissions by 2050.
The scientific review which led to this year's resumption of exploration for shale gas in the Beetaloo basin warned the government the extraction and use of shale gas would lead to a rise in greenhouse gases.
One estimate discussed in the Pepper review suggested "fugitive emissions from natural gas production in the NT are expected to be about three per cent of Australia's Inventory methane emissions".
The government accepted the scientific panels recommendation - "That the NT and Australian governments seek to ensure that there is no net increase in the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions emitted in Australia from any onshore shale gas produced in the NT".
But there is still no further information on how they plan to do it.
Today's climate change response gives two paragraphs to the development of onshore gas on Page 15 of the document.
"The NT Government has accepted Recommendation 9.8 of the inquiry, which states that the NT and Australian Government seek to ensure there is no net increase in the lifecycle emissions emitted in Australia from any onshore shale gas produced in the NT.
"The NT Government is continuing to work with the Australian Government on this matter."
Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Jesse Hancock said it was hypocritical for the Government to try and promote its climate change credentials while it bends over backwards for the fracking industry.
"In addition to its damaging impact on land, water, and communities, the fracking industry has a big problem with leaking, venting and flaring methane emissions
"Methane is up to 30 times more potent as a heat trapping gas than carbon dioxide, and numerous reports have pointed to the spreading fracking industry as a big driver of dangerous global warming.
"To talk of solar power and renewable energy industries in this way is just green-washing by the Gunner Government while they plan to ramp up fracking, the biggest new polluting industry we face."
"The Government's new climate policy ignores the Territory's single biggest source of emissions," said Tom Swann, senior researcher at the Australia Institute.
"The new climate change paper embraces renewables as an economic opportunity, which is fantastic, but is being undermined by plans for fracking for oil and gas.
"The NT government agreed with the Fracking Inquiry that fracking was unacceptable unless all emissions are offset.
"The new climate paper shows no progress has been made, with official plans to sort out the offsets mess by the end of 2021, well after the industry has set itself up. Already this year the NT Government has approved fracking without offsets.
"If allowed to go ahead, emissions from fracking will undo any other Territory actions to reduce emissions, many times over.
The government says its Climate Change Response aims to:
- Continue to facilitate the growth of renewables to diversify and strengthen the Territory economy and enable new export industries;
- Build on existing initiatives across the Northern Territory to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors, in line with the Territory Government's long-term aspirational target of net zero emissions by 2050; and
- Proactively respond to the impacts of climate change.
The transition to a low-carbon economy needs to be carefully managed to ensure ongoing economic investment in the Northern Territory, the government says.
Low-carbon economic development is underpinned by the growth of a renewable energy industry and the Northern Territory is in the best position to capture opportunities like this.
Solar is the cheapest form of new electricity generation, and the Northern Territory has one of the best solar resources in the world.
There are skilled workers within the Territory who have experience delivering ambitious infrastructure projects, and an energy corridor for domestic and international renewable energy export that can meet the increasing demand for renewable energy from neighbours that include Timor-Leste, Indonesia, and Singapore.
Under different solar and energy efficiency grants offered by the NT Government since 2016, Territorians and Territory businesses have saved an average of almost $10 million per year and the associated reduction in emissions is equivalent to taking 7000 cars off the road.
Climate change is one of our most pressing global challenges. The impacts can be observed across all sectors and pose risks to Territorians, the economy, and natural systems.
Have your say on the draft Response by visiting www.haveyoursay.nt.gov.au
Minister for Climate Change, Eva Lawler said: "Our great Territory lifestyle is unbeatable, from our fishing to our world-renowned national parks, and Territorians know there is no better place to live.
"Climate change threatens everything that makes the Territory lifestyle great and that is why the Territory Labor Government has developed a Response for action.
"Territorians support action on climate change, want more renewables and want to see our environment protected for future generations
"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."
ALFA (NT) CEO, Dr Jennifer Ansell said: "The Climate Change Response will further strengthen the growing carbon industry in remote Aboriginal communities where there are few other industry and employment options.
"A strong Territory leadership on climate change policy is vital to growing the Indigenous Carbon Industry.
"In particular, the Territory's aspirational target of net zero emissions by 2050 will continue to drive innovation and opportunity in the developing carbon industry and increase economic activity for existing and new Territory based carbon offsets projects."
ConocoPhillips Australia West president Chris Wilson said: "The Darwin LNG plant will next year become the world's first LNG facility to install a large scale battery to reducing the facility's CO2 emissions.
"This will reduce emissions from power generation by 20 per cent while saving thousands of tonnes of fuel gas and significant maintenance costs. DLNG are now working on other opportunities to to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions such as alternative energy generation."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday at 6am from the Katherine Times. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.