What The Morrison Government Means For Climate Change And Our Future
The dust is starting to settle following last month's big federal election where Scott Morrison and the Liberals shocked many by clinching a win over Labor.
Many pollsters were tipping a red victory however commentators reckon some of the party's big-ticket policies ended up costing it the election.
Now that the Coalition is in power, it'll be interesting to see what their approach will be to climate change, especially considering it was pretty much non-existent from their campaign.
One big win is that the Great Barrier Reef, arguably the jewel in Australia's crown of natural wonders, has a spokesperson in parliament. Warren Entsch has been named Special Envoy for the reef and he'll be tasked with looking after it.
Interestingly, despite loads of research that says our reef is struggling under the weight of rising sea temperatures and bleaching events, Mr Entsch doesn't think it's under that much stress.
Speaking to SBS, our new Special Envoy said: "We don't need to 'save the reef'. The reef is functioning well. There are lots of challenges. We need to continue to manage it and meet all those challenges... [but] bleaching has been happening forever."
Yes - coral bleaching has been going on for around 400 years, according to The Conversation, however the number and intensity of these bleaching events has increased - and we don't know whether our coral can handle it.
So, it's mildly concerning that the person solely responsible for looking after the reef doesn't think that it's in a precarious position.
In another potential blow to the reef, the Adani coal mine was recently approved by the Queensland government and many fear that the proximity to the coast will affect the delicate balance that helps the coral to thrive.
That's more of a 'wait and see' kind of issue unfortunately and we won't know the full impact of the mine until it gets underway.
Going forward, the Morrison government has committed to cutting emissions from 2005 levels by 26 percent - a level that is well below the target set by the Paris deal, which is between 45 to 63 percent.
The Coalition has no plan for renewable energy sources beyond next year, however, according to the Guardian, there will be 'existing support' until 2030.
Thankfully, they've pledged $100 million to help clean up coasts and waterways as well as protect threatened and endangered species across our beautiful country. Ten percent of that money will go towards creating a safe haven for those species.
This year's budget confirmed Australia was pulling out of the Green Climate Fund, which helps islands like Fiji and Samoa to fight climate change.
The Morrison government has received a warning from his Pacific Island counterparts, asking him to put climate change at the top of his priority.
Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi told the Guardian: "A very simple message: climate change is the single most dangerous challenge facing planet Earth, especially Australia with its many forest fires, its droughts, its flooding in northern Australia and of course the need to preserve marine life in coral reefs."
The Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama added: "In Australia, you defied all expectations; let us take the same underdog attitude that inspired your parliamentary victory to the global fight against climate change".
"By working closely together we can turn the tides in this battle," he wrote.
So there's no denying he'll have pressure on him to act if or when those nations start to suffer from climate change.
To support LADBible Australia's efforts to make The Great Barrier Reef an Australian citizen and get her the same rights as every other Aussie (most importantly, the right to life), click here and let the Australian government know that we can all do better.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images