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Coral bleaching, Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, March 2017 © XL Catlin Seaview Survey

Coral bleaching, Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, March 2016 © XL Catlin Seaview Survey

Australia must follow Paris Agreement with greater action at home

21 Apr 2016

Keywords
  • climate change
  • dugongs
  • marine species
  • marine turtles
With Environment Minister Greg Hunt in New York this weekend to sign the Paris Agreement, WWF calls on our political leaders to do far more at home to tackle climate change as a national tragedy unfolds on the Great Barrier Reef.
   
“It makes no sense to stand on the world stage in New York and proclaim that Australia is committed to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, and then go home and carry on with a business-as-usual approach to fossil fuel use,” said WWF-Australia’s Kellie Caught.
 
“The only way we can prevent ongoing repeats of the heart-breaking devastation of our Great Barrier Reef is if Australia shows leadership on climate change, starting with doing more at home.”
   
Australia remains at the back of the pack on climate action. Our carbon pollution is increasing, we have one of the weakest pollution reduction targets in the world, and investment in renewable energy has declined.
 
“Change can happen as soon as next week if the Treasury announces on budget night a phase out of taxpayer funded fossil fuel subsidies, which currently sit at more than $7 billion every year,” Ms Caught said.
 
“With a national election just around the corner, we ask our political leaders to act in our national interests and do far more than what Australia is currently doing to address the threat of climate change to our way of life.”
 
WWF calls on the next Australian government to follow the ratification of the Paris Agreement with a commitment to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2035 and a plan to achieve net zero carbon pollution before 2050.
 
WWF also calls for a transition to progressively close old coal-fired power stations, in addition to ending the fossil fuel handouts that prop up old polluting industries.
 
“With a better plan and the right incentives, Australia could be fully powered by cleaner renewable electricity in 20 years, driving sustainable jobs and billions of dollars in investments along the way,” Ms Caught said.
 
“The transition away from dirty fossil fuels to clean renewable energy will not just help protect the Great Barrier Reef but will also create a cleaner, better and more sustainable future for our kids.”
 
WWF-Australia Media Contact: Charlie Stevens, Senior Communications Officer, 0424 649 689 

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