WHITSUNDAY Local Marine Advisory committee chairperson Tony Fontes has returned from Brisbane where he was an official speaker at the Climate Action Summit held at the Queensland University of Technology from September 19-21.
The summit coincided with a nation-wide climate action march where more than 2000 people attended Brisbane’s rally against climate change.
Mr Fontes addressed audiences at the summit and march.
Having recently completed climate reality leadership training with Al Gore, Mr Fontes presented speeches on the impacts the climate has on the Great Barrier Reef.
Mr Fontes described the weekend as inspiring and said he enjoyed talking to like-minded people at the march and educating others at the summit.
According to Mr Fontes’ speech, the reef has lost 50 per cent of its coral cover in the past 27 years primarily due to poor water quality, severe weather events and coral bleaching.
He discussed how the reef had got to this point, highlighting times of abuse and degradation then focussed on the current science of climate change and its implications at global and local levels.
Mr Fontes said solutions would better the reef’s current situation.
“We need to change the evil ways now because there is no tomorrow – we need to move as soon as possible,” he said.
Mr Fontes will next be speaking at Reef Hour today (October 9) at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club.
“Obviously we need to ship to the bigger picture about the impacts of climate change on the reef but keep focusing on our local impact because they are the things we can fix now without the rest the world,” he said.