Australia has named a draft decision by the UN World Heritage Committee to consider the Great Reef Obstacle as its political motivation on its “danger” list.
Tian Xuejun, China’s deputy minister of education and chairman of the committee that selects UNESCO World Heritage Sites, proposed adding the world’s largest collection of coral reefs to the list of risks adverse effect climate change and coastal development.
The designation could eventually lead to the loss of the reef as a World Heritage Site, although officials said the list is intended to encourage emergency action to preserve a living structure that stretches 2,300km along the east coast of Australia.
Australian Environment Minister Sussan Ley said the government was “blinded” by the commission’s finding and complained of a lack of consultation and transparency. He added that Canberra will question the draft decision.
“When the proceedings are not followed, when the process is put in place five minutes before the draft decision is published, when my officials have received the certificates and I have done so, what else can you conclude but the policy?” He said.
When the World Heritage Committee is headed by a senior Chinese official, suspicions have been raised in Canberra that his diplomacy and trade clash with Beijing.
Sino-Australia relations have deteriorated since Canberra originated Covid-19 last year and Beijing has been questioned over setting tariffs on Australian wine and barley imports.
Ley said he and Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne had already spoken to UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay to complain about the draft decision.
Scientists underestimated the “endangered” suggestion list he was politically motivated. They said that in three years the three whitewashing events showed the need for the government to do more to tackle climate change.
“I’m seeing some press coverage, saying that all of this is a plot of land in China, not to buy wine, lobster and to screw up the Barrier Reef.” I think it’s a long way off, considering that the draft decision released at night will be voted on by 21 countries, ”said Terry Hughes, a professor of marine biology at James Cook University.
The debate will accumulate more international pressure in CanberraThe US, UK and others have called for a national target of zero zero emissions by 2050.
In a draft decision to be voted on next month, the commission called on Canberra to “make clear commitments to address the threats of climate change, in line with the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, and to meet water quality targets more quickly.”
He noted that nearly a third of the surface’s coral water cover was lost in 2016 after the “bleaching” event – a process associated with warmer water than normal water that can create a normal mass. killing the coral.
The row on the “endangered” list came at a difficult time for the Australian Conservative coalition, which is embroiled in internal clashes over climate policy.
On Monday, Barnaby Joyce, a climate skeptic and supporter of coal mining, fired Michael McCormack as head of the national party, a member of the Liberal Party’s junior coalition and deputy prime minister of Australia. Joyce is expected to oppose any move to commit to a clean zero by 2050.