Ellie Goulding dives into Cop27 climate summit to fight for survival of coral reefs

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Ellie Goulding has made a plea at the Cop27 climate summit for protection of coral reefs, warning they faced obliteration in a warming world.

he singer who is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) told a gathering on Tuesday the survival of the world’s coral reefs depending on the summit’s outcome.

Speaking of her experience exploring the Red Sea reef off Sharm El-Sheikh, she said it felt like a “magical connection”.

“Experiencing this reef gave me an unmediated, direct encounter with nature. Those are hard to get and extremely precious and I’m very, very grateful,” she said.

“The existence of these coral reefs, which have been around for half a billion years, is in your hands.

“At 1.5 degrees of warming, 70-90pc of all reefs will be lost. At 2 degrees, we lose 99pc, so what is decided here makes the difference.

“There is no separation between us and natural systems. If they fail, we fail. We need this wake-up call urgently because we’re continuing to get it wrong, very wrong.”

She criticised the accreditation of more than 600 fossil fuel lobbyists to Cop27.

“Why do we let this happen? It drives us one direction,” she said.

She urged greater funding for coral protection.

“We collectively have an opportunity to flip from being the generation that drives ecosystem to the brink of destruction to the one that takes action to save them.

“But global investment in coral reefs is insultingly small – less than 0.01pc of global climate finance between 2010 and 2015. It’s not just insulting, it’s not cool, It’s not impressive.”

Inger Anderson, head of the UNEP, said the preservation of the reefs also ensure the protection of hundreds of thousands of species, of food supplies, of millions of jobs in fishing and tourism, and our own safety.

“When we are protecting the oceans, we are protecting ourselves,” she said.

“We when protect the oceans, we protect livelihoods and species but also the sand dunes, the estuaries, and the mangrove forests, all of which protect us when the storms come and the sea rises.”

Round the world swimmer, Lewis Pugh, who swam across the Red Sea to highlight the need for ocean protection at this Cop, also called for urgent action.

“The glaciers are moving more quickly than world leaders,” he said.

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