Public Letters Climate Change

Global Statement on the Great Barrier Reef

July 20, 2021

The Great Barrier Reef is an iconic World Heritage site, a treasured place of Outstanding Universal Value to all humanity.

Its immense beauty and biodiversity have inspired millions around the world. But its future is at stake. The climate emergency is already evident in the Great Barrier Reef.

Over the past five years, three severe coral bleaching events fuelled by global warming have caused mass coral mortality.

The scientific evidence is beyond doubt: the Great Barrier Reef is in danger and it is time to act.

We therefore support UNESCO’s recommendation to the World Heritage Committee to inscribe the Great Barrier Reef on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C is a critical threshold for the Great Barrier Reef.

We urge Australia – as the custodian of the Reef – to implement a national plan compatible with 1.5°C.

We urge the world’s major emitters to undertake the most ambitious climate action under the Paris Agreement.

There is still time to save the Great Barrier Reef, but Australia and the world must act now. We commend UNESCO for its leadership. We urge the World Heritage Committee to endorse UNESCO’s recommendation.

HSH Prince Albert II
Sovereign Prince of Monaco
Philippe Cousteau
Journalist, explorer and ocean advocate
Ashlan Gorse Cousteau
Journalist, explorer and ocean advocate
Sylvia Earle
President and Chairman of Mission Blue, Ocean Elder
Callum Roberts
Professor of Marine Conservation and author
Christiana Figueres
Founding Partner, Global Optimism and former Executive Secretary, UNFCCC
José María Figueres
Former President of Costa Rica and Co-Founder of Ocean Unite
Adrian Grenier
Actor, environmental activist, film-maker and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador
Mohamed Nasheed GCSK
Former President of the Maldives
Joanna Lumley OBE FRGS
Actor, producer, activist
Lewis Pugh OIG
Ocean advocate, pioneer swimmer, UN Patron of the Oceans
Enric Sala
National Geographic explorer-in-residence, Pristine Seas
Jason Momoa
Actor, producer and environmentalist
Cody Simpson