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Australia blocks new coal mine as it passes climate legislation

AUSTRALIA will block development of a new coal mine because of its potential impact on the Great Barrier Reef.

The decision by Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek to deny approval for the Central Queensland Coal Project marks a shift in environmental policy from the previous Scott Morrison administration, which was accused of refusing to act on climate change.

The House of Representatives passed a Bill today giving the government’s target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 43 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 legal force, significantly more ambitious than the Morrison government’s 26-28 per cent reduction plan.

But MPs rejected an amendment from the Greens that would have ruled out any new coal, oil or gas projects.

Greens leader Adam Bandt said he welcomed the Central Queensland decision but hoped the government would reject another 26 planned coalmines.

“We need an across the board moratorium,” he said.

UN cultural agency Unesco is already considering downgrading the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage status because rising ocean temperatures have killed off the coral across vast swathes of it.

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