Media Release Climate Change

As Reef threat builds, time for Reef-safe climate policy say marine conservationists

February 27, 2020

As reports come in of coral bleaching in northern, inner-central and inner-southern areas of our Great Barrier Reef, the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), Australia’s peak ocean conservation group, has called for the urgent implementation of a Reef-safe climate policy.

The latest update from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) shows rain and cloud cover has eased temperatures along the Reef but the threat of a serious bleaching event remains over the next few weeks.

AMCS Reef spokesperson Shani Tager said: “We’re potentially just weeks away from disaster on our beautiful Reef because of hot waters, driven by climate change.

“We’re desperately hoping things cool down over the next few weeks but hope isn’t enough when it comes to protecting our Reef; we need our governments to get serious about the climate crisis.

“The federal and Queensland governments have a responsibility to protect our Reef and right now they’re failing to act to cut emissions at the scale and pace needed to give our Reef a fighting chance.

“We have to start taking a Reef-safe approach, urgently phasing out dirty fossil fuels and moving into clean energy.

“This is the third time in five years that our Reef is in danger from mass bleaching and it’s well past time for urgent action on climate.

“A Reef-safe climate policy is desperately needed to give our Reef its best shot of a healthy future.

“Our Reef is an environmental wonder and it’s also an economic powerhouse, contributing over $6 billion to the economy and supporting tens of thousands of Queenslanders. Let’s not put all of this on the line for the sake of outdated fossil fuels.”