Trichodesmium bloom off the Great Barrier Reef
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef should be added to the list of World Heritage sites that ‘in danger,’ according to a draft Unesco report that calls on the country to take ‘expedited action’ against climate change ‘on all levels.’
International pressure is on Scott Morrison’s administration to pledge net – zero emissions by 2050, and the prime minister has repeatedly refused to commit – as at last week’s G7 meeting in the UK.
“The recommendation from UNESCO is clear and unequivocal that the Australian government is not doing enough to protect our greatest natural asset, especially on climate change,”Richard Leck
“The recommendation from UNESCO is clear and unequivocal that the Australian government is not doing enough to protect our greatest natural asset, especially on climate change,” WWF Ocean Director Richard Leck said in a statement.
The controversy between Unesco and the Aussie Government over the Big Barrier Reef is nothing new, but it would be embarrassing if the country’s world heritage site were downgraded to a list of “in danger” spots.
Australia’s dependence on coal is making it one of the world’s largest per capita carbon emitters, but its conservative government has staunchly stood up for the fossil fuel industry, saying tough emissions enforcement measures would cost jobs.
Scientists say the main reason would be an increase in seas temperatures owing to global warming, caused by burning fossil fuels.
The country’s environment minister, Sussan Ley, said Australia would contest the move and accused U.N. representatives of retracting their assurances ahead of the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee in China next month, where the recommendation will be formalized.
If a reef are downgraded, it would be the first time that a World Natural Heritage site has been registered on the list of reefs’ at risk ‘, mainly because of the effects of climate change.