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Plibersek’s ‘determination’ alone won’t save the Great Barrier Reef – here’s what needs


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Keeping global heating as close to 1.5C as possible is critical for all ecosystems and societies, including the viability of Australia’s ocean jewel, the Great Barrier Reef.

The federal environment minister, Tanya Plibersek, this week launched a strong defence of the government’s climate targets after UN-backed scientists outlined the steps they said were needed to give the reef the best chance of retaining its status as a world heritage area.

“We are, as a government, absolutely determined to do our bit to keep global warming beneath 1.5C. We’ve legislated. We’ve invested,” Plibersek said.

But expert analysis shows Australia’s legislated goals for 2030 fall well short of the “clear government commitments to reduce greenhouse emissions” in line with 1.5C that the UN scientists are asking for.

That doesn’t mean the government’s “determination” won’t improve matters – but where do things stand right now?

The chief executive of Climate Analytics a firm that that provides analysis of greenhouse gas pledges, Bill Hare, said although Australia’s new target…

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