The Australian government has openly admitted that the Great Barrier Reef is on the brink of collapse. But that doesn’t mean they are going to do anything about it.
While the federal government’s “Reef 2050 Plan” acknowledges that climate change poses a deadly threat to the largest reef in the world, the key targets of the plan do absolutely nothing to curb the nation’s steadily climbing greenhouse gas emissions.
Instead, the plan is composed solely of Band-Aid solutions. And that includes the government’s recent pledge to spend nearly half a billion Australian dollars on the protection of the Great Barrier Reef.
On the surface, the news appears exciting. At $443 million, it is an astounding sum of money and the single largest investment the reef has ever seen. But none of that matters when it’s used incorrectly.
Thanks to the work of a Senate inquiry, it has come to light that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull personally approved $443 million of public funding to a tiny, private organization called the Great Barrier Reef Foundation – a charity with no more than six full-time employees and strong ties to the fossil fuel industry.
The Senate inquiry was set up to figure out why such a small foundation was given such a large sum of money without transparency or due diligence. And so far, the findings have been damning.
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