Climate action swells

Article image - Climate action swells Pristine surf off Margaret River is a rallying point for climate change action. Photo courtesy Surfing WA.

The world’s top surfers joined forces with the Margaret River community to turn the tide on climate change at a landmark Climate Action Summit.

The community driven Summit, supported by the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River, the World Surf League and Surfing Western Australia, 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 was 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. 

“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 featured 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 competed at the famous point break below.

Augusta Margaret River Shire President, Pam Townshend, said that hosting the Summit alongside the Margaret River Pro highlighted what was at stake for the area unless action was 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.

“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.”