Great Barrier Reef Coral Bleaching
Lake Cootharaba can be seen near the coastal town of Teewah located 270 kilometers north of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia, June 9, 2015. UNESCO World Heritage delegates recently snorkeled on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, thousands of coral reefs, which stretch over 2,000 km off the northeast coast. Reuters/David Gray

As the elections approach, the Greens are leaving no stone unturned in order to save Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which is a world heritage site. Greens leader Richard Di Natale said that the nation should plan a future without coal and not without the Great Barrier Reef. The Greens would tax coal $3-a-tonne level on all exports of thermal coal, and use the money collected in reef conservation. It would also ban new mines.

The policy will help raise money ($700 million a year) to support the $1 billion fund, which would in turn help mine workers exit the fossil fuel and coal industry. However, the mines supplying coal for steel-making will not be covered by the ban on new ventures. The policy, the party said, will greatly help the reef combat global warming and climate change.

The announcement by the Greens, is a direct shot at two other major political parties, which have openly supported the opening of a massive coal mine in Queensland's Galilee Basin. Depending on financial viability, the new mines will be shipping coal to various markets, including India, through the Great Barrier Reef.

“Labor and the Liberal-National Coalition are dumb and dumber when it comes to the subject of coal. They've sold out to their fossil fuel donors, handing out billions of dollars in subsidies and approvals for new coal and gas projects when this is an industry in decline,” said Di Natale.

The Greens promised to go further than Labor and has set a 90 percent renewable energy target for 2030. Labor has put their percentage at 50 percent.

Earlier this week, Labor revealed their climate action plan, in which it has promised to almost double the Coalition's goal of cutting 2005-level emissions by 45 percent by 2030. Labor would cut down overall carbon emissions and shut down the dirtiest coal power plants by introducing a two emissions trading system.

Greens deputy leader Larissa Waters talked about the immediate need to slow down global warming as the reef is suffering from a massive coral bleaching.

“There are 69,000 people whose livelihoods depend on a healthy Great Barrier Reef, and communities right around Australia who depend on our protected forests, our coastlines and our agricultural land. We can't afford not to put an urgent brake on global warming,” Waters said.

The Coalition has attacked Labor's plans re-introducing a carbon tax.

“A massive electricity price hike, and it doesn't matter what they call it – A, it's a carbon tax, and B, it's an electricity tax,” Environment Minister Greg Hunt told Fairfax Media.