Oil and Gas News

NT government releases new policy to protect environment

The Northern Territory Government has released its greenhouse gas emissions management for new and expanding large emitters policy, which are set to build on the environmental regulatory framework the Territory Labor Government has created.

The policies form part of a suite of initiatives that are being implemented to achieve a net zero emissions by the 2050 target, that also includes the development of an emissions reduction strategy for the Territory.

The large emitters policy identifies the government’s minimum requirements for how greenhouse gas emissions are to be managed from new, or expanding, industrial and land use development projects.

It will give proponents greater certainty about government’s expectations and will assist the Minister for Environment to consistently and transparently fulfil statutory obligations that require emissions to be managed appropriately.

Under the policy large greenhouse gas emitters are either an industrial project such as petroleum and mining; or a land use project that involves the clearing of native vegetation.

Thresholds have been set at:

  • Industrial project threshold: 100 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in any financial year over the life cycle of a project. This threshold aligns with other Australian jurisdictions.
  • Land use project threshold: 500 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent generated from a single land clearing action, or cumulatively from multiple land clearing actions over time.

The large emitters policy applies from the date its release to all development projects that exceed one of the thresholds, including onshore petroleum activities.

In addition, the government advised that projects that exceed one of the thresholds will be required to develop a greenhouse gas abatement plan.

The plan must set out the expected emissions from the project and demonstrate how the project will meaningfully contribute to the Territory’s net zero emissions target.

Minister for Environment Eva Lawler said that in order to continue to grow its economy and bolster private investment, strong environmental safeguards need to be placed. Creating and supporting jobs is important in creating a $40 billion Territory economy by 2030.

“The large emitters policy we have released applies to all development types, including those involving land clearing. The Territory’s net zero emissions target is economy wide, so all sectors need to contribute to achieving it,” she said.

“The draft emissions offsets policy complements the large emitters policy and provides opportunity and flexibility for the Territory to achieve the net zero target by 2050. It has been designed to increase the demand for carbon credit generation in the Territory and to facilitate the growth of the Territory’s carbon industry – delivering more jobs in regional and remote areas of the Territory.”