The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) and 350.org founder Bill McKibben say the federal government must demonstrate leadership on climate change in order to protect the future of the Great Barrier Reef.
Imogen Zethoven, AMCS Fight for our Reef campaign director, said: “The Turnbull Government knows that the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef is climate change. More funding to tackle poor water quality and coral-eating Crown of Thorns Starfish plagues is welcome, however this will be for naught unless tough action is taken to slash carbon pollution, stop the Adani coal mine and rapidly shift Australia to a renewable energy powerhouse,”.
Bill McKibben, who is visiting the Reef today to inspect areas that have been severely damaged by global warming and marine heatwaves said: “To simultaneously promote the world’s biggest coal mine while pretending to care about the world’s largest reef is an acrobatic feat only the most cynical politicians would attempt.”
AMCS is responding to the federal government’s announcement today that the federal budget will contain a $500 million rescue package for the Great Barrier Reef.
Ms Zethoven said: “We are fast running out of time to protect our Reef. Mining and burning coal is accelerating global warming. Sea temperatures are increasing and corals are dying from heat stress. During the last two summers, 50% of shallow water corals in the Reef died.
“Protecting the Reef for the future means doing everything we possibly can right now to stop the damage. This latest rescue package includes research funding for reef restoration, but where is the serious commitment to slashing our carbon pollution?
“Australia must make the transition from burning polluting coal to a 100% renewable powered future if we are to protect the future of the Reef,” Ms Zethoven said.
To arrange interviews with Imogen Zethoven, AO, contact: Ingrid Neilson, AMCS Communications Manager 0421 972 731