Northern Territory Council of Social Service

2020 NT Election

Climate Justice

Introduce a Climate Act in the next term that legislates a timetable and targets to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, mandates a whole of government strategy and establishes regional plans and  requires consultation with Aboriginal communities.

Support and resource the transition to renewable energy across the NT, including legislated target of minimum 50% renewables by 2030, upgrade to NT electricity infrastructure to ensure it is able to integrate increasing proportion of renewable energy.

Create regional adaptation plans, prioritising health, sustainability and liveability of remote Aboriginal communities.

Climate change is a serious risk to Territory lives and livelihoods with a greater impact on the poor and marginalised who have significantly less capacity to respond.

Australia has warmed by just over 1 °C since 1910, with most warming since 1950. This warming has seen an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events and increased the severity of drought conditions during periods of below-average rainfall. Eight of Australia’s top ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2005.

Many plants and animals have recently shifted where they live as the climate is changing. Scientists are concerned that some species will have nowhere to live if the climate changes too much. In the Territory this is already having an impact on Aboriginal people – on food sources and cultural business.

Over the past 20 years sea-levels in northern Australia have been rising by about 10 mm each year. This is much greater than the sea-level rise in southern Australia and is two to three times greater than the global average.

Over the past 20 years sea levels in northern Australia have been rising from between 7 and 11 mm each year. Rising sea levels will have negative impacts on plants and animals that rely on freshwater. Bigger storms and more intense cyclones may also threaten water quality and the maintenance of sewerage systems.

NTCOSS calls on the NT Government to take effective action on climate change and to support people, communities and community sector organisations to become more resilient to extreme weather and natural disasters.

As a society, we need to reduce carbon emissions now so that future and more extreme climate change is averted and ensure that the transition to a low carbon future provides solutions and opportunities for everyone. This transition presents an opportunity to address inequality and poverty in the NT.

This includes ensuring jobs and income from new large-scale renewables projects flow to local communities, providing opportunities for public and community owned and operated energy projects, and supporting workforce development in ecologically sustainable industries.

People and communities with fewer resources have less money, choice and power to cope, adapt or recover to events such as cyclones, heatwaves, fires, floods and storms.

No one should have to suffer extreme heat without relief or have to go to bed freezing cold.

We have to address climate change to ensure liveability in the NT.

This is a social justice issue. Climate change affects everyone in the NT, and people who are already disadvantaged are suffering the most.

We also call on the incoming NT Government to review legislation governing the establishment of an NT Electricity Market to ensure it is consistent with economic and environment policies and facilitates transition to renewables and access to reliable, affordable and clean energy for all Territorians.