UNESCO Warning: climate action key for Reef protection

The Climate Council has today warned the Federal Government needs to urgently step up its efforts to tackle climate change in order to protect the Great Barrier Reef, following a damning report from UNESCO over the weekend.

Speaking out on World Environment Day, Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said that Australia needed to implement stronger national policies to limit the impact of climate change on the environment, human health and the economy, including protecting the Great Barrier Reef from further damage.

“UNESCO’s latest report warns that climate change is the most significant threat to the Great Barrier Reef. This is particularly concerning for our Reef and for the 70,000 jobs it generates,” said Ms McKenzie.

UNESCO, which advises the World Heritage Committee, said that key targets in the Reef 2050 plan "are not expected to be achieved" and urged Australia "to accelerate efforts."

“Widespread coral bleaching and death over the past year was caused by recordbreaking temperatures driven by global warming.

“The future viability of the Great Barrier Reef, and reefs world-wide depend on rapidly reducing pollution from fossil fuels. The Federal Government must act decisively to protect this great natural wonder, which is fast becoming one of climate change’s biggest losers.

“Without a comprehensive and effective national climate plan to reduce Australia’s pollution ultimately to zero, reefs will continue to be threatened.

“The Federal Government cannot allow the new development of coal mines in Australia, including the planned Adani Carmichael monster mine in the Galilee Basin.

“The future of the world’s coral reefs hangs in the balance. To protect them for the future means tackling climate change by rapidly and drastically reducing our carbon emissions.

“Australia’s performance on climate is poor, and the Federal Government is not doing enough to turn this around,” said Ms McKenzie.

For more information please contact Siobhan Lyttle 0481 751 579

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