Media Release Climate Change

IPCC report shows urgent action needed to save the Great Barrier Reef

October 8, 2018

Immediate divestment from fossil fuels is needed to help save the Great Barrier Reef, warns the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), following the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report by the world’s top climate scientists.

Coral reef expert and AMCS advisor Dr Scott Heron said: “The world’s top climate scientists have spoken and confirmed we are on a trajectory to lose the Great Barrier Reef unless we do better.

“The report shows at 2C warming, we would lose virtually all the world’s coral reefs from 2050 onwards. The loss of the Great Barrier Reef and marine life, not to mention the more than 60,000 jobs it supports, is unfathomable.

“The stark reality is that most of the world’s coral reefs, from which over half a billion people benefit, will be lost in the next 30 years even if we limit global warming to 1.5C under the Paris Agreement. But in a 1.5C world, we won’t lose them all.

“The latest information tells us that to protect half of the world’s coral reefs, we need to limit global temperature rise to 1.2C. This is worth fighting for.”

AMCS Reef Campaign Director Imogen Zethoven said: “We know our own Great Barrier Reef – the world’s largest and most spectacular Reef – has suffered a lot lately and will suffer more. But we cannot and we will not give up.

“We all share a moral obligation to leave a legacy for future generations, but our current political leaders are blinded by an addiction to fossil fuels.

“We must all remind our politicians that their job is to serve us and protect the Great Barrier Reef. Inaction on climate change is stealing from future generations.

“Our politicians must rule out new coal mines, rapidly phase out coal and other dirty fossil fuels and fully transition to clean renewable energy. This is the pathway to avoid a world without the Great Barrier Reef.”


Further Information

Interviews available

Media contact – Imogen Zethoven 0431 565 495

You can download UNESCO’s full report here