Government has five months to act on climate or risk Great Barrier Reef in danger listing


The Albanese Government has until February 2024 to demonstrate drastically stronger climate ambition, or else risk the Great Barrier Reef being declared in danger.

The World Heritage Committee decision was handed down overnight, giving Australia more time to address major threats to the Great Barrier Reef and possibly avoid an in danger listing IF the Albanese Government lifts its game on climate change.

Quotes attributable to Greens spokesperson for healthy oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson:

“There’s nothing to gain and everything to lose from kicking this can down the road. The World Heritage Committee first recommended management of the Great Barrier Reef be escalated to avoid an in danger listing in 2017 – the writing’s clearly on the wall here. 

“In its Reactive Mission Report last year Unesco recommended climate policies and emissions targets that limit global warming to 1.5 degrees are necessary to avoid the Great Barrier Reef being listed as in danger. 

“Yet what does Labor do in the months following this dire warning from the world’s best scientists? Approve new coal and gas projects!

“The burning of fossil fuels is literally cooking our oceans and degrading marine ecosystems across the globe, and nowhere else has this been more politicised than on the Great Barrier Reef. 

“The question is now: what exactly is the Albanese Government going to do in the next five months to demonstrate drastically stronger ambition when it provides an update to Unesco in February 2024?

“Tinkering around the edges isn’t going to cut it, especially not with an El Nino on the horizon this summer. It’s coal or the reef, you can’t have both.”