Media Release Climate Change

Message to Japan: Australians Love the Reef and Renewables

August 2, 2018

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has written “to Japan” asking potential investors to disregard the letters being handed over by Mr George Christensen MP calling for Japanese investment in new coal fired power stations in Australia.

 Mr Christensen is currently visiting Japan on a trip he reports is paid for by the Minerals Council of Australia, and hand-delivering letters from the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Matt Canavan.

Imogen Zethoven, AMCS spokesperson said, “The best thing Japan can do with these letters is to make them into origami.

“The Great Barrier Reef is in grave danger from climate change. Climate change, driven mainly by mining and burning coal, threatens its very existence. New investments in coal fired generation on the doorstep of the Reef would be disastrous.”

Ms Zethoven pointed to the recent release by the federal government of an updated Reef 2050 Plan which states that:

 A concerted international effort to limit the effects of global climate change is essential to provide the best protection for coral reefs. Respected coral scientists have documented in peer-reviewed journals that most of the world’s coral reefs will not survive unless the global temperature increase is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

 “Building new coal fired power stations will help push global temperature rise to over 1.5C and will accelerate damage to the Reef and its amazing wildlife. Instead, the Reef needs a rapid transition to renewable energy,” Ms Zethoven continued.

 “The Reef has already suffered greatly over the last two years, losing 50% of its shallow water corals to a massive marine heatwave. It can’t remain resilient forever, in the face of more and greater impacts.

“Mr Christensen’s electorate of Dawson includes the Reef tourism hub of the Whitsundays. AMCS challenges Mr Christensen to face Airlie Beach tourism operators when he gets home to explain why he is promoting developments that will accelerate damage to our international icon and the 64,000 tourism jobs that depend on it.

 “Australia is blessed with abundant renewable energy resources. Instead of promoting the technology of last century, Mr Christensen should be seeking foreign and domestic investment in large-scale renewable energy projects – projects that are safe for the Reef.”

Contact: AMCS Communications Manager, Ingrid Neilson 0421 972 731