The Greens’ plan to drastically cut fossil fuel emissions this decade and stop new coal and gas developments are what our reefs and oceans need, the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) says.
The Greens’ recently announced climate and energy plan aims to match what scientists say Australia should be doing in order to help keep global heating to 1.5C – a crucial threshold for the world’s life-giving coral reefs.
The party has committed to cutting emissions by 75% this decade and reaching net zero by 2035 by transforming how the economy uses energy. The plan also outlines how it will phase out fossil fuel exports from Australia, which contribute so much to global emissions.
AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign manager Dr Lissa Schindler said the Greens’ climate policy was the strongest yet from one of the major political parties.
“Our Great Barrier Reef has just experienced its fourth mass bleaching event since 2016, and the first in a La Nina year, while west coast reefs have also experienced bleaching. These global wonders and the communities that rely on them are crying out for climate action now – we need our politicians to listen, just as the Greens have done with this policy,” she said.
“The Greens’ policy recognises that protecting precious environments like reefs requires an integrated climate plan. It recognises that good climate policy will help to protect jobs in tourism, fisheries and hospitality, while providing new opportunities for people working in fossil fuel industries as the necessary transition to renewable energy speeds up.
“We call on all political parties to match the climate ambition this plan would deliver and ensure there is a bright future for our reefs and oceans and the regional communities that depend on them.”