Surfing to save the world

November 19, 2020 BY

Surfers for Climate co-founders Johnny Abegg and Belinda Baggs.

AUSTRALIAN surfers have banded together to defend Australia’s coastline and the surfing lifestyle from the threat of climate change.

Surfers for Climate, founded by longboarding champion Belinda Baggs and former pro-surfer Johnny Abegg and announced last week, aims to bring the Australian surf community together to protect the coastline from future threats.

“For surfers, the ocean is life,” Baggs said.

“Climate change, fuelled by the burning of fossil fuels, threatens everyone’s way of life. For the surfing community, this is a red alert. Everything we love is under threat.”

Australian surfers successfully protested against Equinor’s plan to drill the Great Australian Bight in February this year, and Surfers for Climate is taking on an even bigger challenge – climate change.

“The ocean has made me who I am. Now, we get the chance to help save it,” Abegg said.

“Through Surfers for Climate, we are standing to fight for the ocean, so my kids, and generations to come, can continue to ride waves in thriving oceans.

“Surfers for Climate will bring surfers together in a positive, fun and inspiring way. The ocean has shaped our country. And now, we must stand up and do what we can to create the future we
all want.”

The Australian-based registered charity has four goals:

  • To mobilise and empower an alliance of surfers to care about climate
  • To help the surfing community play a powerful role in stopping coastal and offshore fossil fuel developments
  • To take action on implementing climate solutions, and
  • To make MPs representing surfing communities take action on climate.

Pro surfers Adrian “Ace” Buchan, Laura Enever and Pacha Light have joined swimmer and ironman Ky Hurst, actor and director Simon Baker, surf filmmaker Jack McCoy, and musician Jack River as ambassadors for Surfers for Climate.

“The freedoms we had as kids, the thrills, spills and lessons learnt amongst the beauty and power of nature, it held us close,” Baker said. “To think we could repay it by inaction breaks my heart.”

The surfer-led organisation’s launch coincided with a collaboration between Jack McCoy and music icon Paul McCartney, who have created a new film clip to McCartney’s homage to the ocean, “Wine Dark Open Sea,” featuring Baggs’ surfing.

Surfers for Climate aims to foster a broad alliance with other surfing and environmental groups, climate scientists and campaigners and surfing communities around the world.

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