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UNESCO’s Barrier Reef warning is ‘where the rubber hits the road’ for Australia and climate change

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The Australian government says it was blindsided on Tuesday by the United Nations heritage organisation’s warning it is considering listing the Great Barrier Reef as “in danger”.

The move could mean the reef loses its status as a natural wonder. Environment Minister Sussan Ley and Foreign Minister Marise Payne responded to UNESCO immediately, saying Australia’s stewardship of the reef was “world class”.

But the listing would likely be related to global warming, with Australia under pressure to set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Today on Please Explain, climate and energy correspondent Mike Foley joins Tory Maguire to discuss UNESCO’s draft decision to downgrade the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage status.

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