Australia warns Unesco over placing barrier reef on ‘in danger’ list

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Australia has warned that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) risks denting its own credibility if it follows through with a proposal to put the Great Barrier Reef on its “in danger” list.

Warren Entsch, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef envoy, said he hoped the UN World Heritage Committee would reverse a draft decision made last month following a frenetic lobbying campaign by Canberra ahead of a vote scheduled for Friday.

UN officials say the move is intended to prompt action to safeguard a living structure that stretches 2,300km along Australia’s east coast and has been damaged by climate change and coastal development.

But the debate over its Unesco status has become a frontline in the battle between Australia’s conservative government, a laggard on climate policies which has yet to commit to achieving net zero…

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