Media Release Fight For Our Reef

Reef at risk this summer

November 21, 2019

Australia’s leading scientists and Reef managers have sounded the warning bell for the Reef this summer says the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) has outlined that summer is a peak period of risk for the Reef with one of the warmest years on record expected for Queensland.

AMCS spokesperson Shani Tager said: “This is a clear warning about the grave danger that our beautiful Reef is in because of climate change.

“To give our Reef a fighting chance, and safeguard the 64,000 jobs that it supports, Queensland and the federal government need to take urgent action to slash emissions and rapidly transition from dirty coal.

“Australian emissions are climbing ever upwards. At the same time our Reef has never been more threatened from runaway climate change which is driving underwater heatwaves, extreme weather events and ocean acidification.”

Today’s concerning statement by the GBRMPA follows its Outlook Report from July which downgraded our reef’s future from ‘poor to very poor’ and highlighted climate change and its impact on warming oceans as its biggest threat.

In 2020, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee will look at Australia’s performance in protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

Earlier this week, Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley and Queensland’s Environment Minister Leanne Enoch released a statement acknowledging climate change as the biggest threat to the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

They met on Tuesday in Townsville – as part of the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Forum – to discuss a report that will be sent to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee which will attempt to inform the ruling.

Tager said both governments needed to take urgent and decisive action to shift to renewable energy if our Reef is to have a fighting chance of survival.

“Positive steps have been taken by the Queensland Government on water quality but unless we start tackling this climate crisis, our Reef will remain in danger,” she said.