The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has called on the government to take immediate action on climate change in the light of today’s updated Reef 2050 Plan.
The updated Plan, released today, recognises that climate change is the most serious and increasing threat to the Reef and acknowledges the need to implement the Paris Agreement, limiting the global average temperature rise to 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels.
However, while the language on climate change in the updated Plan is notably stronger, it fails to acknowledge the inadequacy of the Federal Government’s emissions reduction target, and the proposed actions to achieve this target.
“Recognising the threat to the Reef from climate change is a positive step – but the next urgent step is for the government to actually tackle the problem,” said Imogen Zethoven, Fight For Our Reef Campaign Director for AMCS.
“The Great Barrier Reef urgently needs a revised Plan to 2050 that explains how Australia will cut its carbon pollution to give the Reef a future. Right now, we are not pulling our weight in the global effort to cut carbon pollution.
“There is still time to protect the Reef from dangerous climate change if we act now. If we do nothing, the outlook, based on current climate change projections, is a catastrophic decline. The Reef is too important to Australia – and to the world – to lose.”
Australia’s current emissions reduction target is 26-28% but a target in line with the science to limit Reef damage would be 45-65% by 2030, as recommended by the Climate Change Authority -and zero net emissions well before 2050.
UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee recently met in Bahrain to reiterate the importance of all countries undertaking the most ambitious implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.
“The Federal Government has a responsibility to protect the Reef, yet our representatives continue to support the expansion of the fossil fuel industry and Adani’s massive coal mine,” said Ms Zethoven.
“Coal and gas are causing climate change and that’s damaging the Reef. We need to end this dependency and switch to 100% renewable energy.”
For interviews with spokespeople from the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), contact Liz Stephens on 0407 224469 or at [email protected]