The Northern Territory Government in Australia has pledged that it will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in the area by as much as 60% by 2025. The move is a part of the Government's on-going drive to develop and push new climate change policies.
In addition to setting the 2025 target, the Government has also renewed its commitment to produce as much as 20% of its total power used through renewable energy sources by 2020.
AdvertisementWhile stressing that the government operations will also try and be as carbon neutral as possible, the Climate Change Minister, Karl Hampton, said, "We've got some very ambitious targets, but they're targets we're going to take on with a lot of action".
The Government says it will reduce carbon emissions by capping the rate of land clearing in the Territory, which it says is about 10,000 hectares over a five year average.
It will also set up a carbon offset industry by 2020 to reduce carbon emissions by four million tonnes.
A carbon fund will also be set up to provide investment in land management and renewable energy, but just how much money will be invested is undecided.
Other elements of the policy include government departments becoming carbon neutral by 2018.
Legislation will also be introduced next year to ban plastic shopping bags.
The Northern Territory is populated largely by indigenous Australians, who are plagued by a variety of problems. Its economy is largely driven by mining, and hence any move to reduce greenhouse gas emissions should be welcome.
But the Australian Greens say the policy does not go far enough.
Senator Scott Ludlum thinks the 20 per cent renewable energy target for 2020 falls short of what is needed.
"The negotiating range worldwide, which is being fought over in Copenhagen at the moment, is between 25 and 40 per cent targets right across the board by 2020," he said.
"It means emissions need to peak around 2015.
"And that means that what the Territory Government should be doing is looking right now at what de-carbonisation of the NT economy would look like out to about 2030."
He also felt the Government should have given greater priority to development of solar, tidal and geothermal energy.
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