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Open letter calls for Climate Change Act in NT

An open letter has called for the Northern Territory to create a “legally binding pathway” with the Climate Change Act to meet a target agreed under the Paris Agreement.

user iconNaomi Neilson 14 August 2020 SME Law
Northern Territory
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Although facing some of the more extreme impacts from climate change, the NT has lagged behind Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania in introducing laws to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet a target of net-zero emissions. 

More than 50 NT businesses, Indigenous, health and community organisations invited the public to sign an open letter calling for a Climate Change Act, which they said could compel the future NT government to consider climate change risks in all portfolios. 


Environment Centre NT director Shar Molloy said: “The [territory] finally has bipartisan support for reaching [net-zero] emissions by 2050 but unless that becomes law we can’t be confident that the target will be reached. The NT’s recent climate change response is a strong police foundation, but we have seen good policy thrown out before.”

The letter warned that NT has already been hit by unprecedented heatwaves, reduced rainfall, species loss and ecosystem damage as a result of climate change. The issue is also threatening the survival of the state’s Indigenous communities. 

Central and Land Council executive member Michael Liddle said overcrowded hotbox houses are becoming less habitable as reduced rainfall threatens the drinking water – which plants and animals also depend on: “Our people are on the frontline.”

“A climate change law would help us fight risks and make a fast transition to affordable, clean energy that creates jobs in our communities,” Mr Liddle said.