Yes to Shadecloth, No to Kyoto

The Australian Minister for Tourism, Fran Bailey, has indicated a willingness to consider covering parts of the Great Barrier Reef with shade cloth to limit damage caused to it by global warming. A trial of four five-metre square shade cloths has been undertaken over the last two years. "We're very concerned because this is a $A5.8 billion tourist industry on the reef, employing 33,000 people," Bailey said. But not so concerned as to sign up to the Kyoto treaty aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Bailey's shadecloth suggestion has been ridiculed by the Shadow Environment Minister Anthony Albanese who argues the government should have a broader climate change strategy. "There are 2,900 reefs together. They go for 2,300 kilometres down the Queensland coast and cover an area larger than the UK and Ireland combined. So that's a lot of shade-cloth," he said.