The Federal Government must accept the science pointing to the need for drastic emissions reduction to protect the Great Barrier Reef and actually take the necessary action instead of wasting time trying to influence UNESCO’s climate change policy, the Greens say.
“This looks a lot like history repeating itself when it comes to the in-danger listing of the Reef by the World Heritage Committee,” Greens Environment spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“Australia has form when it comes to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying UNESCO to influence its decision making on the Reef so it can push ahead with climate-destroying projects like Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.
“If the Reef is to survive, the Morrison Government must accept climate change is the Reef’s greatest threat and they must stop stalling on meaningful action to drastically reduce emissions.”
Greens Oceans spokesperson and chair of the Senate Inquiry into the $444m grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said, “Australians are custodians of this international icon for the whole world”.
“We know climate change is the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef. Yet our emissions have been rising under the Morrison Government, and we are pushing on with massive new coal mines that will export global warming to the world,” Senator Whish-Wilson said.
“Our role as both custodian of this treasure and coal-plugger is a shameful conflict of interest that this government has gone to great lengths to hide and spin their way out of.
“As chair of the Senate inquiry into the $444m grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, I discovered the main motivation for this grant was to avoid an 'in danger listing', to avoid telling the truth about the tenuous future for the reef, and for more spin and greenwash to hide this government’s shameful record on climate action.
“Scott Morrison shouldn’t be trying to hide the truth, which is as plain as daylight: the GBR is ‘in danger’ whichever way you look at it, and the actions of his government have played a role in the unfolding tragedy we are seeing on this massive ecosystem visible from space.”