The Federal Government is choosing coal over coral with an energy plan that does nothing to help protect the Great Barrier Reef from its biggest threat: climate change.
The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS)’s Fight For Our Reef Campaign Director, Imogen Zethoven, said according to media reports the government has dumped the Clean Energy Target and will support the coal industry at the expense of the coral reefs around the world including our Great Barrier Reef.
The Clean Energy Target was recommended by Australia’s Chief Scientist, and supported by the business sector, energy sector and investment community, with environment organisations declaring it a starting point.
Ms Zethoven said, “Extending the lifespan of coal shortens the lifespan of our Reef. This energy plan will harm our Reef.
“Australia must rapidly cut pollution in order to tackle climate change, and the cheapest and quickest way to do so from the biggest emitting industry (energy) was switching from fossil fuels, like coal and gas, to renewable energy like solar and wind plus storage technologies.
“The priority of our federal government should be protecting our Great Barrier Reef and the 64,000 Queensland workers who depend on its health, not propping up a multi-billion-dollar coal industry.
“We are experiencing record temperatures, year upon year. We’ve witnessed mass coral bleachings, both this year and last. It’s simple – coal kills coral. You can’t keep mining and burning coal with no consequences for our Reef. This government is choosing coal over coral – and failing to act in the interests of Australians by protecting us and the places we love from the worsening impacts of climate change.”
Ms Zethoven said switching to renewable energy and storage would deliver clean, cheap and reliable power while creating long, term sustainable jobs for the regions.
“The science is clear, the economics is clear and Australians have been very clear – we need more renewable energy, and fast. It is time our politicians started listening.”
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