From time to time, fossil fuel companies will try to get away with something so big and so terrible that only a massive global outcry will stop it.
That’s happening right now, where I live in Australia — and so I’m calling on people around the world to help us stop the development of the world’s largest coal port in the Great Barrier Reef.
(This is full text of a release from 350.org.)
Here’s the background: companies and investors from around the world have their eyes on Australia, and have developed dangerous plans to double our coal exports and triple our emissions over the coming years. These plans will lead us straight to climate catastrophe.
What’s worse, these plans require the construction of massive new coal ports along the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef is the largest in-tact reef ecosystem in the world — a global treasure that we all need to protect.
Yet, coal companies would trash it. In fact, as we speak, companies are planning to make Abbot Point — in the middle of the Reef — the largest coal port in the world. The plan requires the dredging of 3 million cubic metres of sediment which would be dumped in the middle of the Reef World Heritage Area. With all the proposed port expansions up to 7,000 more ships will cross the Reef every year. Just one accident could be devastating.
But there’s good news: you can help us stop this dangerous plan.
Expressing deep concern about the future of The Great Barrier Reef, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has threatened to place it on the ‘in danger’ list, which would create significant pressure on the Australian Government to stop these coal ports from being built. This month, the committee will vote on whether to continue this pressure. And we need your help to make sure they make the right decision.
Join us by adding your voice to safe the reef — and help stop dredging and dumping for the world’s largest coal port: www.350.org/reef
UNESCO decisions are usually pretty inaccessible to the general public — but this time, we’re teaming up with our friends at the World Wildlife Fund to channel your voice to delegates in Doha as they discuss the future of the Reef. So far, UNESCO has done a lot to stand up for the Reef — and in turn our climate. But we know that the Australian Government, and the coal industry, will be putting significant pressure on them to back down. That’s why we need to show UNESCO that we support their stand.
We know that this decision matters. The Australian Government doesn’t want to be shamed over its treatment of one the world’s most precious natural icons. And potential investors such as HSBC and Deutsche Bank have directly cited UNESCO’s concerns as reasons for not financing this project.
UNESCO’s decision could be the deciding factor in whether these massive coal ports go ahead, and damage the Reef forever or whether the reef is protected for future generations. The potential impacts are huge.
So, please, join us to stand up for The Reef and our climate at www.350.org/reef
With many thanks,
Simon Copland and the rest of the 350.org Team