IPCC report paints sad picture for the future of the Great Barrier Reef

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, out today, finds the Great Barrier Reef will suffer irreversible damage from coral bleaching and ocean acidification.

“Today’s report confirms that the very future of our iconic Great Barrier Reef is at stake,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said

“Climate change of even 2 degrees of additional warming threatens the existence of this biodiverse wonderland which so inspires our hearts and fills our coffers.

“Without urgent change, under all current climate projections, degradation to the Great Barrier Reef will impact upon its tourism industry, which 63 000 people rely on for their jobs.

“Yet the climate-denying Abbott and Newman governments are gung ho about digging up hundreds of mega tonnes of coal from the Galilee Basin and shipping it out through the Great Barrier Reef.

“The IPCC report really highlights the sad irony of the Reef becoming a shipping super highway for coal.

“Not only will the Reef feel the direct impacts of dredging, dumping and shipping but the masses of coal exported will exacerbate coral bleaching and ocean acidification.

“If the Galilee Basin was a country, burning all of its coal would make it the seventh largest emitter of CO2 from fossil fuel burning on the planet.

“Australia can make a real difference for the Great Barrier Reef and climate action globally by keeping Galilee Basin coal in the ground and fulfilling our potential as a world leader in the transition to renewable alternatives.

“The Greens in the Senate will fight to save our climate laws from the Abbott Government’s attacks, and will never give up on saving our Reef, our natural environment and our way of life from runaway climate change,” Senator Waters said.