While scientists warn the Great Barrier Reef could be hit by coral bleaching for the second year in a row, the latest data shows Australia’s climate pollution levels continue to rise.

The new data, released under the National Greenhouse & Energy Reporting Scheme, shows the climate policies of Prime Minister Turnbull and Environment & Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg are not working, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today.

“This latest data provides more evidence Turnbull government policies that are supposedly designed to cut Australia’s climate pollution are simply not doing the job,” said Australian Conservation Foundation CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.

“Pollution is up by 3.4 per cent on the previous year and by 7.5 per cent since the Abbott-Turnbull government axed the carbon price which was reducing Australia’s pollution.

“Pollution from Australia’s electricity sector is up by 2.6 per cent on the previous year and 5 per cent since the carbon price was removed.

“Meanwhile, global warming continues to damage Australian treasures, like the Great Barrier Reef, and increase the likelihood and severity of heatwaves and bushfires.

“Instead of acknowledging global warming as a national crisis that demands immediate, serious action, the federal government is considering giving Adani a $1 billion loan for a coal-carting railway line and wants the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to fund new coal-fired power stations.

“And Mr Turnbull and Mr Frydenberg apparently value the political points that can be scored by demonising renewable energy above the safe future that can be secured by transforming our energy system from dirty to clean.

“This dishonest behaviour is not worthy of our elected officials.  

“ACF urges the Prime Minister and the Environment & Energy Minister to look at what Australia’s rising pollution is doing to our country, think carefully about the legacy they intend to leave and get over their love affair with dirty, dangerous coal,” she said.

Josh Meadows

Former senior media adviser at the Australian Conservation Foundation.