28.06.18 By

Right now, we need your help to shine a spotlight on the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef: climate change.

The Great Barrier Reef, an international icon and treasured natural wonder, experienced unprecedented and devastating back-to-back bleaching events in 2016 and 2017, driven by extreme marine heatwaves. The link between coral mortality and climate change is clear, with climate change-driven marine heat exposure increasing both the reach and likelihood of mass bleaching leading to coral mortality.

The Australian Federal Budget recently included funding for reef protection: over $500 million will go towards improving water quality, culling crown-of-thorns starfish and research and monitoring. The catch? Federal Government funding to combat climate change – by far the greatest threat to the reef – is severely lacking (1).

Hundreds of millions of dollars for a band-aid solution? That’s one expensive band-aid!

Add your name to this petition today, to call on Federal Government Ministers to create a credible climate policy that will rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and allow us to transition to renewable energy.

Public outcry has already led the current Federal Government to take reef action, by allocating significant funding to its protection. But our national action plan is missing a vital element. Unless our leaders get serious about effective climate action – and soon – we’ll be fighting a losing battle to preserve this precious ecosystem and beloved international icon.

That’s because the local management solutions that the latest reef funding will go towards, like culling crown-of-thorns starfish and improving water quality, will not be enough on their own to reduce the vulnerability of the reef to the overarching threats from climate change.

Human-caused greenhouse gas pollution levels are driving increasing sea surface temperatures and marine heatwaves, and our coral reefs simply can’t cope with the rate and scale of change. Our Federal Government must create a credible climate policy that rapidly reduces greenhouse gas emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

And there’s more than just our reef at stake: the Great Barrier Reef is a multi-billion dollar economic asset, contributing around $6.4 billion to the Australian economy per year (of which $5.7 billion comes from the tourism industry), and supporting 64,000 direct and indirect jobs (2). Climate change is putting this industry, and the broader economy, at risk.

The Federal Government is dragging the anchor on climate action with a plan that barely skims the surface. Sign this petition today and help keep climate change at the centre of the conversation.

(1) Budget 2018: Funding cuts put Paris climate goal further out of reach, SMH, 9 May 18
(2) At what price? The economic, social and icon value of the Great Barrier Reef, Deloitte Access Economics, 2017

Add Your Voice

To: Australian Federal Government Ministers

Climate change is the biggest threat to our international icon, the Great Barrier Reef.

The Australian Federal Government must create a credible climate policy that rapidly reduces greenhouse gas emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels, in order to preserve this precious ecosystem and beloved international icon.