The Australian government has announced that it will be making a major investment to provide funding to help protect the Great Barrier Reef.
The move comes after recent research found that nearly 50 percent of the northern Great Barrier Reef was wiped out due to coral bleaching since 2016.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that they will put US$379 million to help restore water quality, tackle the growing issue of the crown of thorns starfish, and bread heat-resistant coral to help repopulate the reef system that has been severely damaged.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has pledged A$500 million (US$379 million) to help restore water quality, tackle the growing issue with the devastating crown of thorns starfish, and breed heat-resistant coral to help repopulate the damaged reef system.
In a statement on Sunday Prime Minister Turnbul said, “Like reefs all over the world, the Great Barrier Reef is under pressure, A big challenge demands a big investment – and this investment gives our reef the best chance.”
As exciting as the news is, many are very skeptical and concerned that Australia is just putting a band-aid on a cut. The biggest threat to the reef systems is rising water temperatures which are caused by CO2 emissions. While the money is being directed at things that are harming the reef, the Australian government is almost blatantly ignoring the fact they are continuing to allow the mining and burning of coal with very few restrictions.
Instead of working to promote clean energy that will help slow the rise in global temperatures, Australia has instead supported projects such as the highly controversial Adani coal mine which will to produce 132 million tons of coal a year will pass through the port. As well the government has been accused of lobbying the United Nations to prevent the reef from being listed as a heritage site “in danger” and have seen carbon emissions on the rise after signing the Paris climate agreement in 2015.
If Australia is truly going to save the Great Barrier Reef, they will need to drastically alter the way they are tackling climate change and will need to fully oppose the coal and oil industry. We are down to the final seconds on the clock to protect this natural wonder or we may lose it completely.