Media Release Fight For Our Reef

QLD’s new emissions reduction target big step to protect Reef

December 15, 2023
  • Queensland Government’s 75% emissions reduction target by 2035 will help tackle climate change and help protect the Great Barrier Reef
  • AMCS urges Queensland LNP to commit to bipartisan support for these targets

The Queensland Government has taken a momentous leap forward in tackling climate change, the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef, with its new greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) said today.

New Queensland Premier Steven Miles today announced the state would aim to cut carbon emissions by 75% by 2035 (compared with 2005 emissions levels) – a big increase on the previous 30% reduction target by 2030.

AMCS Great Barrier Reef Campaign Manager Dr Lissa Schindler said: “New Queensland Premier Steven Miles has made a significant commitment to tackling climate change and protecting the Great Barrier Reef. This is a big step towards limiting warming to 1.5°C especially for a heavily industrial state such as Queensland. 

“We are already feeling the impacts of climate change and have seen the devastating impacts of warming waters in Florida, where whole reefs were wiped out. Climate change has been the driver of four mass bleaching events in the past seven years in the Great Barrier Reef, with concern for a fifth one during this El Nino period. El Ninos bring more marine heatwaves, putting corals under immense heat stress.

“The Queensland Government must fast-track emission cuts this decade and keep working towards a higher emissions reduction target that is in line with limiting warming to 1.5°C – a critical temperature threshold for coral reefs. 

“Climate change is the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef, and its very existence is at stake. The Reef is our greatest natural asset and supports a $6 billion tourism industry and 64,000 jobs.

“We urge the Queensland Liberal National Party to commit to bipartisan support for both the renewable energy and emissions reduction targets,to help protect Queensland’s exceptional coasts and oceans, support jobs that rely on healthy environments, and provide certainty for businesses and Queenslanders. 

“This is the critical decade for the Great Barrier Reef. We need both major parties committing to strong climate action to protect our Reef and the thousands of regional jobs it supports.”