“Garnaut report sparks call to arms for at-risk Barrier Reef”

ABC News, 5th July

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority says it accepts the findings of the Garnaut report on the impact of climate change on the reef.

The report found if carbon emissions are not reduced, the reef could die within decades.

The Authority’s Russel Reichelt says governments and industry must take strong action to protect the reef.

He says the Garnaut report relied on 15 years of scientific research into global warming.

"It’s also relying on the forecast from the inter-governmental panel on climate change, which have painted a range of futures, but even the rosiest future causes me great concern that the reef will be severely damaged within 20 to 40 years," he said.

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council also accepts the report’s findings.

Chief executive Daniel Gschwind says a report delivered four years ago showed carbon emissions could kill the reef.

He says the reef is worth about $5 billion annually and must be protected.

"We’re very conscious of the role that tourism plays and the effect it could have on tourism if we don’t do the right thing, so it is a very important issue for our industry, it’s an industry that is all based on conservation and nature," he said.

"We will certainly study the report with some interest."

Coral reefs, climate change and tourism

Red Orbit, 9th June

A changing global climate may have profound effects on the Florida Keys coral reef, an Australian researcher says, but at least people are paying attention.

“People are concerned about tourism and the reef, of course,” economist Hans Hoegh-Guldberg said after his first Keys workshop Friday in Islamorada.

“But one positive thing about the environment is that people here see is an increasing environmental consciousness on both the corporate and personal level,” Hoegh-Guldberg said. “People are taking more and more notice.”

Hoegh-Guldberg will spend this week in the Keys to conduct four more workshops with residents as part of a scenario-planning process commissioned by the National Marine Sanctuaries Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“That means developing a set of alternative possible future worlds from ‘best case’ to ‘worst case,’ all equally credible and equally likely to occur,” said Hoegh-Guldberg. “We must plan to avert the worst and encourage the best.”

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