Labor and Liberal climate policies in line with reef-destroying warming, Climate Analytics analysis says

The Coalition’s climate policy is consistent with a likely Great Barrier Reef-destroying 3C of global warming, new analysis claims.

Labor’s more ambitious 43 per cent cut would still threaten the reef in a world 2C hotter than pre-industrial levels, if other countries followed suit, Climate Analytics found.

The Coalition’s climate strategies were consistent with the international treaty’s goal of keeping the world well below 2C and preferably to 1.5C of global warming.

The report states the Coalition’s target of cutting emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030 would see the earth warm by 3C, bordering on 4C, assuming other countries acted in an equivalent manner. 

Temperatures in the Great Barrier Reef in March were above average, with increased heat stress being experienced by the Reef. (World Wide Fund)
“Under this level of warming, the Great Barrier Reef and all other tropical reefs would be destroyed,” Climate Analytics said.

“At the global level the most extreme heat events could be 5-6 times more frequent than in recent decades and in Australia the highest maximum temperatures about 3C hotter. 

“In other words, an intense heat event that might have occurred once in a decade in recent decades could occur almost every year, and be substantially hotter.”

That warming assessment marries with the Climate Action Tracker’s evaluation of the targets reaffirmed at COP26 in Glasgow, where countries were under pressure to ramp up their 2030 targets in line with their Paris commitments.

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Labor’s more ambitious cut would still threaten the reef.

“Under this level of warming, if sustained, the Great Barrier Reef would very likely be destroyed, along with all other tropical reefs in Australia and elsewhere,” the report states. 

“At the global level the most extreme heat events could be about three times more frequent than in recent decades, and in Australia the highest maximum temperatures about 1.7C hotter.”

After years of political turmoil, climate change has become a key factor in the federal election, inspiring several so-called teal independents to challenge sitting MPs in previously blue-ribbon Liberal seats such as Wentworth in Sydney and Kooyong in Melbourne.

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