MEDIA RELEASE: Time Turnbull took action on climate threat to reef
Another day, another report, telling the Turnbull Government its inability to act on climate change is seriously endangering the survival of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea.
An independent expert panel, led by former chief scientist Ian Chubb, recommended urgent revision of the Reef 2050 plan to enable, “mitigation, adaptation and management of the Reef in the face of inexorable global warming.” With the stark warning that if Australia and the world doesn’t keep global temperatures in line with our commitments under the Paris Agreement the Reef will continue to deteriorate.
In the past 18 months the Reef has suffered two unprecedented bleaching events. This is the result of climate change happening before our eyes.
It’s not just the experts who are severely worried about climate change impacts on the Great Barrier Reef. The recently released Climate of the Nation survey showed that 74 per cent of Australians have a high level concern about climate change causing destruction on the Great Barrier Reef.
Yet under this government carbon emissions rose 1.4 per cent in the last year. And the Government’s own emissions projections show that Australia will not even come close to meeting our obligations under the Paris Agreement, under Malcolm Turnbull’s climate and energy policies.
It’s beyond time the Prime Minister stood up to his party and started delivering on protecting the reef and oceans through climate and energy policy. Whether it is curbing land-clearing, protecting precious areas like the Coral Sea, agreeing on a Clean Energy Target or acknowledging the rise in emissions, he is not willing to make a stand which means the Reef will suffer. Last month the Government revealed its plans to wind back protections in our oceans. No government anywhere in the world has ever removed this many hectares out of conservation before.
Malcolm Turnbull is trying to make history by leading a government that has taken the biggest step backwards on ocean protection, it seems like he’s trying to outdo himself by putting his head in the sand on climate change, energy policy and the Great Barrier Reef.
THE HON TONY BURKE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTURAL AUSTRALIA
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
MEMBER FOR WATSON
THE HON MARK BUTLER MP
SHADOW MINISTER CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
MEMBER FOR PORT ADELAIDE