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Australia’s PM Abandons Plan to Enshrine Carbon Emission Cuts

Australian PM Scraps Plan to Legalize Carbon Emissions Cuts

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Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a press conference in Berlin, Germany, April 23, 2018. (VOA)

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has abandoned plans to enshrine the nation’s targeted limits of greenhouse gas emissions into law in the face of an angry revolt by his party’s staunch conservatives.

Australia set a target to cut carbon emissions by 26 percent below 2005 by the year 2030, as part of the 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, commonly known as the Paris Agreement.

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Turnbull sought to include the targets in the government’s National Energy Guarantee, but he conceded Monday that he could not get the legislation through the House of Representatives, where his Liberal Party holds a fragile one-seat majority. The conservative opposition, led by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, argue that the government should be focused on cutting soaring electricity prices.

The internal revolt has led to speculation that Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton will challenge Turnbull for leadership of the Liberal Party, which both men have denied. It also comes amid a new voter survey showing the government trailing the opposition Labor Party 55 percent to 45 percent. The next national elections are scheduled to be held next May. (VOA)

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Great Barrier Reef Faces Australian Floods Dirty Water

The water has not dispersed due to its size and a recent lack of wind.

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The water has not dispersed due to its size and a recent lack of wind. Pixabay

Dirty water from a flood crisis in north Australia has spread to parts of the Great Barrier Reef, placing it under stress, scientists have said. The floods are the result of weeks of devastating rain in Queensland. Some regions experienced the equivalent of a year’s rainfall in 10 days.

Aerial pictures show that run-off from one river has blanketed some reef areas more than 60 kilometres from shore, the BBC reported on Friday.

The UN calls the Great Barrier Reef, located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland, the “most biodiverse” of all the World Heritage sites, and of “enormous scientific and intrinsic importance”.

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The floods are the result of weeks of devastating rain in Queensland. Pixabay

Scientists fear the sediment-laden waters may be blocking out light and effectively “smothering” coral.

In recent weeks, run-off from several rivers has coalesced to affect an approximately 600 kilometre stretch of the reef’s outer edges, scientists said. The water has not dispersed due to its size and a recent lack of wind.

The water has not dispersed due to its size and a recent lack of wind.The water has not dispersed due to its size and a recent lack of wind.

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Frederieke Kroon from the Australian Institute of Marine Science said the nutrient-rich water had also sparked algae growth in some areas, turning waters “a thick blanket of green”.

The reef is already facing threats to its survival such as coral bleaching caused by warmer sea temperatures. It has also been damaged by cyclones. (IANS)