Sydney, Australia — The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has officially confirmed that the World Heritage-listed wonder is undergoing a seventh mass coral bleaching event — the fifth in just eight years.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO, David Ritter, said that while the news was expected, the official confirmation of a seventh mass bleaching event is a devastating blow.

“Just three weeks ago I was snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef off Cairns. It was beautiful, but we witnessed the beginning stages of this event unfolding, with patchy coral bleaching at both sites we visited. 

“We know that the climate crisis is driving deadly marine heatwaves and devastating our marine ecosystems, but the frequency and scale at which these mass bleaching events are now occurring is frightening — every summer we’re holding our breath.

“Last year the Great Barrier Reef narrowly avoided an ‘In Danger’ listing, with the Australian government promising to do everything it can to protect the Reef.[1] This has to include addressing climate change as an existential threat to the reef, and ensuring our emissions reductions plans are aligned with a 1.5 degree pathway. 

“Claims that Australia is taking the health of the Great Barrier Reef seriously ring hollow when we continue to expand and subsidise the coal and gas industry to the tune of billions every year. The Australian government can not in good faith approve climate bombs like Woodside’s Burrup Hub and say that they care about the Reef’s future.”


Please search the Greenpeace Media Library for images of the Great Barrier Reef.


[1] Great Barrier Reef escapes ‘in danger’ recommendation ahead of UNESCO World Heritage decision


Kate O’Callaghan, Senior Communications Advisor, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, (+61) 406 231 892, [email protected]