Fracking elephant in room of NTG climate response


Sir – Last week the NT Government conducted a series of informal briefings on its ‘Climate Change Response: Towards 2050’. The sessions were hosted by policy advisor Dr Ellin Lede who, as experienced as she is in her field, couldn’t avoid the elephant in the room, with questions around fracking dogging the sessions.
The briefings were also tarred by a feeling of mistrust in the government and its consultation processes following the Fracking Inquiry debacle. Invitees included the small businesses that closed for the International Climate Strike last month, teachers, nurses, ASTC Mayor, tourism reps, lawyers and artists.
Attendees highlighted the need for a legislative framework to give the Climate Response legs to stand on. Many spoke of the current impacts that the climate crisis is already having on health and small businesses in our town. Water and food security as key issues for climate adaptation don’t get a mention in the response, which was brought up by the public.
Following a spiel on the huge Sun Corp private solar development it was noted that there is no new funding for the Climate Change Response. The NTG is keen to talk about such solar projects and hydrogen research but essentially have no money to put behind it.
The paper contains a lot of positive intentions including the aspirational target of net zero emissions by 2050  but there are no clear strategies or implementation plans for bringing emissions down between now and then. The paper frames Climate Change as an economic opportunity rather than acknowledging it as a crisis with very real impacts that are being seen now.
Unfortunately, the time for waiting for the private sector to independently decarbonise is long past and the need for publicly funded adaptative measures is now. Dr Lede was asked to note that public owned solar projects are an opportunity to address energy issues as well as address Climate Justice, making sure the most vulnerable in our society aren’t left behind.
The public can make a submission on the government’s ‘response’ before October 31.
Estelle Roberts
Alice Springs
Gas fracked in NT could double nation’s emissions: professor


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