The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has today pointed to the collapse in Chinese thermal coal imports as another reason to stop dredging in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area.
Figures released today show Chinese imports of coal are down 39 per cent between January and October, compared to this time last year. Further, Australian exports are down 25 per cent.
Imogen Zethoven, the Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director for AMCS, said the collapse of the seaborne coal industry is further evidence that dredging in the Reef’s waters for the coal industry is bad for the economy and the environment.
“It’s more important to protect the Reef than to keep protecting the coal industry.
“We can have a healthy Reef and a strong economy, but we need to be avoid trashing our natural assets like the Great Barrier Reef for an industry in terminal decline.
“Mining and burning coal is one of the leading causes of global warming. It causes the waters of the Reef to warm and become more acidic. If we don’t reduce our reliance on coal and move to renewables, we’re risking the entire future of the Great Barrier Reef.
“However right now we have an Indian coal company urging Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to override the rights of Australians to a healthy environment and a sustainable economy by introducing a special new law to push through a giant coal mine and more dredging on the Great Barrier Reef.
“The decline in the coal industry, the impacts of dredging and global warming, the overreach of coal mining executives and the value of the Great Barrier Reef all point in one direction. We’ve got to reject Adani’s efforts to expand the coal port at Abbot Point,” said Ms Zethoven.
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