Media Release Climate Change

Hollywood actors, former presidents and leading scientists join calls to save the Great Barrier Reef

July 20, 2021

World famous scientists, royalty, former presidents and actors have added their names to a growing chorus of concerned citizens who are calling on the World Heritage Committee to ensure the Australian government takes the actions required to protect our Great Barrier Reef.

They have endorsed a statement, which says Australia and the world must act now on climate while there is still time to save the Reef.

The statement says the climate emergency is already evident in the Reef, pointing to the three severe coral bleaching events in just five years which have caused mass coral mortality.

They say limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C is a critical threshold for the Reef and urge Australia – as the custodian of the Reef – to implement a national plan compatible with 1.5°C.

The world renowned and respected endorsees support UNESCO’s recommendation to the World Heritage Committee to inscribe the Reef on the List of World Heritage In Danger.

The statement says: “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.”

The statement was organised by the Australian Marine Conservation Society, Australia’s leading marine conservation organisation.

AMCS CEO Darren Kindleysides thanked the leading names who agreed to endorse the statement at short notice.

“The influential signatories to this statement are from all over the world, showing that adoration and alarm for our Reef is not just a concern for Australians. The Reef belongs to the world, and as its custodian, Australia must show global leadership on climate action to preserve its future.”

It is the latest high profile call on the World Heritage Committee to accept the UNESCO recommendations following public letters from five world renowned scientists, Australia’s leading environmental non-government organisations and over 50 influential Australians.

The 21-member World Heritage Committee will decide later this week whether to ratify UNESCO’s science-based recommendation to add the Reef to the World Heritage ‘in danger’ list.

The statement can be read here.

The statement endorsees are:

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

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, C0-Founder of Lonely Whale, film-maker and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador

Joanna Lumley OBE FRGS
Actor, producer, activist

Jason Momoa
Actor, producer and environmentalist

Mohamed Nasheed GCSK
Former President of the Maldives

Lewis Pugh OIG
Ocean advocate, pioneer swimmer, UN Patron of the Oceans

Callum Roberts
Professor of Marine Conservation and author

Enric Sala
National Geographic explorer-in-residence, Pristine Seas

Cody Simpson
Musician, UNDP Ocean Advocate