25 June 2024

While the Coalition welcomes UNESCO’s recommendation to not list the Great Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’ to preserve its status as a World Heritage Site, further demands on Australia to expand climate targets without similar requests on higher-emitting countries reek of a double standard.

Successive governments have invested heavily, altered policy and put in place measures to protect the Reef. To claim otherwise is misleading.

UNESCO have specifically targeted Australia’s emissions reductions measures as something that will save the Reef. Australia accounts for 1.3% of global emissions  – while we should always do all we can, it is unfair to place all responsibility onto our country for what is a global issue.

Shadow Environment Minister Jonno Duniam is demanding that UNESCO apply the same standard to Australia that it does to other countries:

“UNESCO need to be making exactly the same demands of higher-emitting countries as they have of Australia insofar as they affect the Reef and need to stop blackmailing us into taking further punitive steps,” Senator Duniam said.

“Australians are already struggling in a power price crisis and bowing to unreasonable demands with no obligations imposed on other countries will just make this worse.”

“Tanya Plibersek needs to stand up and defend Australia and make decisions to protect our Reef without damaging our economy, without pressure from UNESCO.”

“The Coalition preserved the Great Barrier Reef as a World Heritage site without crushing the livelihoods of regional Queensland families. The Albanese Government needs to do the same.”