THE WORLD’S TOP SURFERS have joined forces with the Margaret River community to turn the tide on climate change at a landmark Climate Action Summit held today.
The community-driven Summit, supported by the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River, the World Surf League and Surfing Western Australia, has brought locals, climate experts and surf stars together to develop a plan to limit climate damage to one of Australia’s most iconic surf coastlines.
The Climate Council’s Head of Research Dr Martin Rice said that Margaret River’s iconic coast is highly vulnerable to climate impacts, including rising sea levels and coastal erosion.
“Over the past couple of decades, sea levels along the west coast of Western Australia have been rising at double the rate of the global average.”
“Rising seas and storm surges pose significant risks to coastal infrastructure and beaches – and this area, home to many pristine and iconic beaches will suffer if we fail to act on climate change. One of the world’s hottest surf destinations is under threat unless urgent action is taken to tackle climate change.”
“The iconic Margaret River wine industry is also under threat. If climate change continues unabated then it is likely that the region will have less water available and poorer wine grape quality.”
The Climate Action Summit features speakers and climate experts including international best-selling author Ben Elton, Climate Councillor Professor Tim Flannery and Cities Power Partnership director Tracie Armstrong, while the world’s top surf stars compete at the famous point break below.
Augusta Margaret River Shire President Pam Townshend said that hosting the Summit alongside the Margaret River Pro highlights what’s at stake for the area unless action is taken to tackle climate change.
“Margaret River is one of the world’s most beloved surf spots and a major tourist drawcard for Western Australia – but all of that is under threat unless urgent action is taken to tackle climate change,” she said.
“This event is the beginning of a new climate vision for the Margaret River area that will see council and community working together to protect one of the country’s most iconic national assets.”
STILLS GALLERY OF SURF SHOTS FROM MARGARET RIVER PRO
Credit: Surfing Western Australia
For more information please contact Fiona Ivits, media advisor, at [email protected] or 0487 003 872.
About the Cities Power Partnership
The Cities Power Partnership is a free national program created by the Climate Council that celebrates and accelerates. pollution reduction and clean energy in Australian towns and cities.
This project received funding from ARENA as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program.