The Australian Conservation Foundation has welcomed the release of the terms of reference for the federal government’s Climate Change Review 2017, but said Australia’s pollution problem would continue to worsen until the government stopped propping up the coal sector.

“The Paris agreement makes it clear all countries need to pull their weight in cutting climate pollution, yet Australia’s pollution levels continue to rise,” said ACF’s Victoria McKenzie-McHarg.

“While Australia’s pollution levels increase, unprecedented coral bleaching from global warming is wiping out large swathes of the irreplaceable Great Barrier Reef.

“The government’s current policies simply aren’t up to the task of replacing dirty coal-fired power stations with the clean energy of the future.

“This review provides the opportunity for the government to replace ineffective policies with ones to replace coal, support clean energy, attract new investment in the clean economy and help affected communities through the time of transition.

“But the government is sending mixed signals.

“Propping up mega polluting coal projects like Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine in Queensland is completely incompatible with having a responsible climate policy.

“It’s time for the federal government to say goodbye to coal and grasp with both hands the opportunities presented by clean energy.”

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Journalists with enquiries may contact Tom Arup on 0402 482 910, tom.arup@acf.org.au; or Toby Halligan on 0419 403 016, toby.halligan@acf.org.au For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email action@acf.org.au.