Fight for the Reef
Fight for the Reef

Reef bleaching must drive urgent change from coal to renewable energy

Mar 21, 2016A

 

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has today called on federal Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt to take immediate and effective action to tackle global warming, the fundamental driver of coral bleaching.

The government’s current approach to global warming and fossil fuels especially coal is contributing to one of the worst bleaching events on the Reef.

Imogen Zethoven, AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign director, said its time to stop fiddling while Rome burns.

“The solution to coral bleaching is clear:

·      No new coal mines
·      End fossil fuel subsides
·      Shift to 100% renewable energy as soon as possible and by 2035 at the latest
·      Stop the outrageous level of land clearing in Queensland which is sending Queensland’s emissions sky high
“The Far Northern Great Barrier Reef appears to be the worst hit. This is a pristine part of the Reef which is likely to be suffering substantial mortality.

“This part of the Reef is not damaged by farm pollution. This pristine area is in danger from global warming and in particular coal.

“Coal is the leading cause of Australia’s carbon emissions. Mining and burning coal causes the waters to warm, and the coral to bleach.

“The government’s mantra about meeting and beating climate targets cannot be taken seriously until it accepts that we need an urgent and fundamental shift in the energy sector from coal to renewables.

“The government understood the implications of approving the Abbot Point coal terminal and the Carmichael mine – Australia’s largest coal mine and one of the world’s largest.

“These decisions are shameful in light of the carbon pollution that will be emitted and the contribution to ocean warming and bleaching of our beloved Reef,” said Ms Zethoven.

 

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