Robbie Clews, a student on the LLM in Global Environment and Climate Change Law, has been presenting his work at the Annual Conference of the Australian Coral Reef Society, held on Daydream Island in Queensland, Australia.
Robbie based his paper on a volunteering opportunity he had undertaken the previous summer with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, where he had learned about the outlook for the conservation and preservation of the Reef.
Climate scientists tell us that to avoid 2°C of global warming, 80% of global coal reserves must remain unburned. For Australia, this translates to 90% of its coal becoming a stranded asset. Despite these projections, the Australian Government have approved plans for the world’s biggest coal port to be built at a place called Abbot Point, adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Whilst this debate has been at the forefront of international media coverage, it has not been widely discussed within legal literature.
Robbie’s presentation was, therefore, of great interest to a wide-range of stakeholders. He had the opportunity to meet the Queensland Minister for the Great Barrier Reef, whose Special Advisor requested an advanced copy of his dissertation. He also was given the chance to meet representatives from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Department of the Environment.
This opportunity was made possible by the funding provided by the Law School's Ewan Cameron Bursary.