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Greens demand action to protect Great Barrier Reef

The Greens have renewed calls for immediate carbon emission reductions after the release of a study into the possible destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.

The study predicts the world's coral reef systems, including Queensland's Great Barrier Reef, could collapse within 30 years if the effects of global warming are not reversed.

"This study calls for rapid reductions in carbon dioxide levels, indicating that the impact of climate change on coral reefs is just around the corner," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

"In the most recent IUCN Red List, coral has been listed as critically endangered for the first time. Now, more than ever, we need to take immediate action to protect this living wonder, as our coral is fast disappearing. This could be our last chance to protect important coral habitats for Australia's future generations."

The study found emissions of carbon dioxide are boosting acidity so much that sea water covering 98 per cent of all coral reefs may be too acidic by 2050 for some corals to live.

"Senator Christine Milne is currently at the Bali conference, and has called on Prime Minister Rudd to sign up to the 2020 target range in the draft decision. This is about using the science to set the global parameters now, then diplomacy over the coming years to set specific targets for each country," said Senator Siewert.

"We need to take immediate action on global warming. Now, more than ever, effective solutions need to be negotiated at the Bali conference to ensure these fragile eco-systems survive the next 30 years and beyond," she concluded.

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