The 2012 Marine Climate Change in Australia Report Card released by the CSIRO today provides yet more evidence that global warming is having serious adverse impacts on our marine ecosystems and shows why putting a price on pollution is vital for a healthy, smart, fair future for all Australians.
"CSIRO's report today should remind us all that putting a price on pollution and rolling out clean, renewable energy is critical for protecting our unique marine ecosystems and the communities who rely on them" Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne said today.
"The Greens have been gravely concerned about the destructive changes to our marine environment for many years. One of my first major actions as a Greens Senator, in 2006, was to release a report that also noted the damaging migration of sea urchins from the New South Wales coast to Tasmanian waters, where they have been decimating kelp forests and hurting local fisheries.
"We can see the impacts of global warming on our fragile marine ecosystems, where extreme weather events are increasing, water temperatures are rising, the sea levels are rising, and oceans are becoming more acidic - and large numbers of marine animals and plants are migrating or dying as a result.
"A report I released back in 2006 showed that as many as 35 fish species may have been introduced into Tasmanian waters in the last three decades aided by rising sea surface temperatures.
"As reported by CSIRO, these changes are happening in marine ecosystems right across the country - from coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef to changes in currents and a great dispersion of species.
"Damaging marine ecosystems damages our communities. Low-lying estuaries and beaches are threatened by rising oceans, our fisheries are threatened by migratory species and warmer waters, our health, infrastructure and agriculture are all affected.
"While this report points to urgent need to adapt to the onslaught of climate change, we must also act urgently to stop and reverse climate change, to protect our beautiful planet which sustains us all, and also to transition our industries to a sustainable future.
"This report from Australia's preeminent scientific research body is further evidence that we need to act now, and act strongly, and the price on pollution, the $10 billion Clean Energy Fund and green carbon funds are a great first step."