A new report addresses how the compounding hazards of climate change will affect marine fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.
In response to a new report on the impact of climate change on ocean economies, released today by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy – a group of 14 national governments that includes Australia – the Campaigns Director of the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), Dr Paul Sinclair, said:
“Australians love the beach and our oceans – 21 million of us live within 50 kilometres of the coast.
“But global heating is dramatically changing oceans, marine life and the industries that rely on the sea, especially the tourism industry.
“This Morrison Government-sponsored report finds if climate change is allowed to accelerate it would lead to a 94 per cent decline in Australian coral reef tourism revenue by 2100.
“Even under a very conservative scenario, where global temperatures increase by less than 2 degrees by 2100, Australian coral reef tourism revenue is predicted to plummet by 42 per cent.
“Reef tourism is the backbone of many Australian regional communities and generates billions of dollars each year.
“If we keep polluting our atmosphere, oceans will keep copping it – and humans will too.
“Australia has so much to lose. We love the Great Barrier Reef, Ningaloo Reef and our other beautiful coral ecosystems. We love beaches, fishing and water sports. We need to protect these with urgent climate action.
“As a big contributor to global climate pollution, Australia should do our fair share to solve the problem.
“Rapid, deep cuts to pollution are essential if we are to avoid the worst climate damage – that starts with switching from coal and gas to renewables.”