Climate action, not virtue signalling, will help protect Great Barrier Reef

Australian Greens

No amount of Minister Plibersek’s “formal commitments” to protect the Great Barrier Reef will provide cover from the impacts of new fossil fuel projects she continues to greenlight.

As stated by Greens spokesperson for healthy oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson:

“The Great Barrier Reef as we’ve been lucky enough to know it in our lifetimes isn’t dying by accident. It’s being degraded by governments content with greenlighting new fossil fuel projects which spew millions of tonnes of CO2 into our atmosphere and turbo charge the warming of our oceans.

“It’s ironic that while Minister Plibersek was virtue signalling the Government’s commitment to protecting the Great Barrier Reef, just yesterday the BOM issued a grave warning of the increased likelihood of an El Nino event this summer, which could have devastating consequences for the Reef.

“No amount of money or Minister Plibersek’s ‘formal commitments’ to protect the Great Barrier Reef will protect it from an El Nino marine heatwave event caused by rising emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

“So long as Labor continues to greenlight new fossil fuel projects we will continue to see more annual coral bleaching events – end of story.

“Labor can throw all the money it likes at the Great Barrier Reef to avoid an embarrassing Unesco World Heritage ‘in danger’ listing, but the only thing that will save it from danger is a dramatic decrease in fossil fuel emissions. It’s new coral or new coal, you can’t have both.”

/Public Release. View in full here.