Government risks Reef ‘in danger listing with new coral bleaching

The Australian Greens MPs

Coral bleaching in the far north of the Great Barrier Reef shows the Federal and Qld Governments are failing to deal with the impact of climate change on the natural icon and could see it listed on UNESCO’s ‘in danger’ list, according to the Greens.

Scientists have today reported significant coral bleaching at three locations in the Great Barrier Reef’s far north. There is a heightened alert for a potential mass bleaching event over the next two to four weeks.

Greens Senate Leader and Senator for Queensland, Larissa Waters, said it’s clear the old parties’ Reef policies are not dealing with the biggest threat facing the Reef – global warming caused by mining and burning of coal and other fossil fuels.

“If Australian governments don’t stop their addiction to coal, then UNESCO may place our Reef on the international shame list when it meets to evaluate reef management later this year. This would be devastating for reef-dependent communities and tourism operators who are already under pressure,” she said.

“Both old parties are championing mega coal mines, opening up the Galilee Basin and gas fracking to export out through the Great Barrier Reef that will worsen water quality through dredging and shipping.

“Both old parties are burying their heads in the sand on the real cause of coral bleaching – the mining and burning of coal that will exacerbate global warming and cook the Reef’s corals.

“The Greens have a plan to save the Reef from global warming with a Green New Deal including no new coal or gas, a $1 billion transition fund for workers, and 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

“If we don’t increase the ambition of our action now, we may lose our precious reef and the 63,000 jobs that rely on it in our lifetime,” Senator Waters said.

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