Climate change poses an existential threat to the wild ecosystems that skiers and snow boarders, hikers, climbers, paddlers, trail runners, and mountain bike riders rely on for adventure. It also poses an equally grave threat to the businesses that rely on wild nature for their existence.

Tourist operators on the Great Barrier Reef are shifting their stance on climate change, with the peak industry body now opposing Adani's "mega coal mine", and acknowledging that fossil fuel use needs to be phased out.

In an unprecedented declaration, the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO) and Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) have called on "all our political leaders ... to fight for the future of our reef".

By definition, action to protect the Reef must include action to greatly limit greenhouse gas emissions. This is true of other natural landscapes.

In the USA, the outdoor industry and community is flexing its political muscle and campaigning to defend public lands that could lose their protection because of the Trump administration plan to hand them over to mining and fossil fuel companies. It is also calling on the USA to do its fair share of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

The Australian outdoor community can do the same.

Please sign the open letter to the prime minister.

 

Will you sign?

32 SIGNATURES
50 signatures

The Hon Scott Morrison

Prime Minister of Australia

Climate change poses a grave risk to natural environments and tourism

Dear Prime Minister,

Climate science makes it clear that all countries, including nations like Australia, must play a role in shifting away from our current reliance on fossil fuels to meet our energy needs if we want to avoid dangerous climate change.

Climate change threatens the economy, national security, public health, farming and food production, and our lifestyles. It also poses an enormous threat to the natural environment.

Polling repeatedly shows that the community wants to see the federal government act on climate change.

Yet your government is walking away from meaningful action.

The outdoor and tourism industries rely on Australia having a thriving natural environment to draw visitors. Many regional economies are dependent on tourism. If the environment suffers, local economies suffer.

Tourism represents 3.2% of Australia's GDP and contributes A$55 billion to the national economy each year.  The sector employs 598,200 people. Domestic tourism is a significant part of the tourism industry, representing 73% of the total direct tourism GDP. The Australian ski industry alone generates more than $1.8 billion a year and employs more than 18,000 people. Yet under current greenhouse scenarios, climate change could cut Australia's ski season by more than two months.

Millions of Australians enjoy outdoor recreation – including walking, running, skiing, riding, canoeing and climbing. Climate science makes it abundantly clear that all the ecosystems that support these activities will be negatively impacted by climate change.

Change is possible. Renewable energy and battery storage is now cheaper than coal and gas.

To respond to the imperatives of climate change, and to have a chance of protecting the places we love and rely on for our recreation and business, means that Australia must transition rapidly from our current reliance on fossil fuels.

We must play our part globally in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We must stop exporting coal, and instead develop industries which will allow us to export clean renewable energy.

We need an energy transition at home, which will see our energy system transition rapidly to reliance on renewables like wind and solar, matched with storage and energy efficiency.

A move to 100% renewable power is practical, achievable, economically sound and will be overwhelmingly popular. It will mean that Australia is doing its share of the work that is required if we are to avoid dangerous or catastrophic climate change. It will also help ensure a future for the natural landscapes that we love and rely on for a thriving economy.

yours sincerely,