WSJ: Great Barrier Reef Threatened by Gas Projec

WSJ headline: Great Barrier Reef Threatened by Offshore Gas Project, Lawsuit Says

Subheadline: Woodside Energy, which plans to defend its project in court, says many countries need gas to reduce carbon emissions

SYDNEY—An environmental group filed a lawsuit that seeks to stop a large gas project off Australia’s coast, arguing that it would further damage the Great Barrier Reef by leading to the release of more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

The litigation, filed Tuesday in Australia’s Federal Court in Melbourne, is the latest step by conservationists to bring more attention to the reef, which suffered another bleaching event during Australia’s most recent summer, its fourth mass bleaching in seven years. Bleaching can kill the corals and occurs when water temperatures rise, and this year’s was notable because it occurred during La Niña, a weather pattern that typically brings cooler conditions.

The gas project, from Woodside Energy Group, plans to export gas from the Scarborough gas field off Western Australia’s coast—far from the reef, which is near the country’s east. But the Australian Conservation Foundation, which brought the lawsuit, argues the project would damage the reef because the gas, wherever it is burned, will add more carbon to the atmosphere and contribute to climate change. It is asking the court to stop the project until its impact on the reef is more fully assessed.