The lobbying push that killed off a fight to save the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef, the size of Italy or Japan, is where global heating is a present-day catastrophe. It has suffered three mass coral bleaching events since 2015, killing up to 50% of its shallow water coral, with no reprieve in sight.

That conclusion prompted a push to have Unesco add the reef to its “in danger” list. But after a global campaign, ranging from a snorkelling jaunt for ambassadors to an eight-day lobbying trip taking in Hungary, Oman and the Maldives, the 21-country World Heritage Committee ignored Unesco’s scientific assessment.