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EcoWatch is a community of experts publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions for a healthier planet and life.
Australia Lobbying Thwarts Push to List Great Barrier Reef as Endangered

Greenpeace Australia called Friday's World Heritage Committee vote "a victory for one of the most cynical lobbying efforts in recent history."

Oceans
A green sea turtle is flourishing among the corals at lady Elliot island. Jonas Gratzer / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

An intense lobbying campaign by the pro-fossil fuel Australian government succeeded Friday in keeping the Great Barrier Reef off a list of World Heritage Sites considered "in danger," despite experts' warnings that the biodiverse ecosystem is increasingly imperiled by the global climate emergency.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Coral reefs are in danger around the world. Michael Aw / Ocean Image Bank

Will we find corals' white knights in spiny armor? The question is one that Florida scientists and ocean advocates are eager to answer ー and using lobsters to do so.

Read More Show Less
2022 SunPower Solar Panels Review: Are They Worth It?

Are SunPower's popular solar panels the best on the market?

Reviews
SunPower

SunPower and its solar panels consistently rank among the most popular in the nation for their exceptional efficiency, performance and warranty. In this SunPower solar panels review, we'll discuss how the industry leader's best solar panels line up against competitors' top products.

Looking to learn more about SunPower solar installations? Read our full review of SunPower. You can also get a free quote for home solar panels using this tool or the form below.

Panel Overview

With roots in solar technology and manufacturing, SunPower's solar modules actually predated the company's success in the installation market. To expand its installation services, SunPower announced in late 2021 that it would spin off its manufacturing arm into a new company, Maxeon Solar. SunPower's solar panels are still branded after their original namesake.

SunPower offers four monocrystalline solar panels, each with its own unique advantages. Which panel you choose will depend on your needs. Here's a rundown of each type of solar panel:

SunPower Solar Panel

Efficiency

Wattage

Best For

A Series

22.7%

400 W

Homeowners who want the best product available

X Series

22.7%

370 W

Space-constrained projects, like homes with small roofs

E Series

20%

320 W, 327 W or 435 W

Residential projects and smaller commercial operations

P Series

19%

380 to 400 W

Commercial installations or projects without space constraints

SunPower Solar Panel Efficiency

The first solar panel ever invented only had about a 6% efficiency rate — meaning only 6% of the energy striking the panel is converted into usable alternating current (AC) electricity. Even today, the most efficient solar panels in development only convert about 40% at the very most.

SunPower's ratings of 19-22% (varying with the different models available) are significantly higher than most conventional panels on the market today, providing a variety of benefits. These include:

  • Requiring a lower overall cost: Since high-efficiency solar panels have a better power output, the number of panels you need on your home is reduced, which can lead to lower total costs.
  • Providing more power for the usable space: Along the same lines, high-efficiency panels provide more energy potential with less space. This means homeowners with less available roof space can still be good candidates for SunPower solar panels.
  • Being more sustainable overall: Not only do high-efficiency panels provide more bang for your buck, but they also help to lower your impact. Fewer panels require fewer materials, therefore reducing the energy and waste that goes into your SunPower system.

Temperature Coefficient

Temperature coefficient is another way to describe solar panels' performance in varying conditions. Solar panels operate at an ideal temperature of around 75 degrees F, and their performance can degrade with temperatures significantly above or below that figure. The smaller the temperature coefficient, the less performance suffers when temperatures change.

SunPower solar panels currently hold a temperature coefficient between -.35 and -.29, some of the best on the market today. If you live in a climate that stays mild year-round, temperature coefficient will be less of a factor in your solar panel choice.

SunPower Solar Panel Warranty

Solar panels are known for their durability, but a warranty is still a hugely important consideration in your purchase. Luckily, product warranties come attached to the purchase of most systems. These are good for at least 10 years, and the best cover performance up to 25 years.

Most solar panel product warranties cover the following:

  • Defective products
  • Failed parts

Most solar panel product warranties do not cover the following:

  • Underperforming systems resulting from poor installation or products
  • Workmanship errors like roof leaks
  • Accidents like tree branches falling on your panels or squirrels chewing through wires

SunPower's 25-year complete confidence warranty offers the following to address a number of the common pitfalls of solar warranties:

  • All-in-one product warranty: Systems built with products from different manufacturers can result in a customer getting passed back and forth between companies as they shift blame for a failed part or system. SunPower's warranty, however, covers the complete system to ensure your problem is resolved in one place.
  • Removal and shipping costs of defective parts: Conventional warranties usually don't cover the costs of removing and shipping defective or damaged parts. SunPower's warranty ensures no extra costs in replacing panels or other parts.
  • Power production guarantee: Power production guarantees are performance warranties that ensure your solar system will operate at at least 90% of its original power production for 25 years. Conventional solar warranties may not cover replacement parts if your solar system's degradation rate is higher than expected.

Overall, companies like SunPower and Sunpro are making all-in-one system warranties more commonplace. The results are paying dividends.

Cost of SunPower Solar Panels

The cost of solar is difficult to predict by provider, since project prices vary so much with your location, electricity bills and energy needs. When you get a quote from SunPower, the price tag may seem a little higher than average, since its business focuses on efficiency. But remember, purchasing more efficient panels will save you more in the long run.

The best way to get a firm understanding of how much SunPower solar would cost you is to reach out and get a free quote. Even better would be to get quotes from SunPower and a few other local companies to compare prices. Keep in mind the quality of panels you're considering, as the cheapest solar panels don't always provide the best value.

How to Pay For SunPower Solar Panels

SunPower offers three general solar financing plans, all of which come with SunPower's 25-year warranty:

  1. Cash purchase: Purchasing a solar power system upfront from SunPower will provide the best solar payback period and the highest return on your investment. If you're able to get the money together, this method is the most cost-effective.
  2. Purchase with a solar loan: SunPower can help you take out a loan with one of its partners. With this loan, you can purchase the system and pay back the loan. Most loans are repaid within five to 12 years. If you choose to purchase a system with a solar loan, you'll still be eligible for the solar tax credit, and your solar panels will increase the value of your property. However, because of the interest you'll be paying on your loan, this option ends up costing a little more than a cash purchase.
  3. Solar lease: SunPower provides solar leases, through which you rent solar panels from SunPower. SunPower retains ownership of the panels so you lose the benefits of net metering, the solar tax credit and adding to your property value. Solar leases offer a low-upfront cost option with less return on the backend. Though less advantageous than purchasing a system, leases extend the benefits of solar to homeowners who may have low credit or don't want to deal with the hassle of purchasing and maintaining panels.

Here's a recap of each financing option available for SunPower solar panels:


Cash Purchase

Solar Loan Purchase

Solar Lease

Solar panel ownership

You own the system

You own the system

SunPower owns the system

Eligible for tax credit?

Yes

Yes

No

Adds to your property value?

Yes

Yes

No

Money required upfront?

Yes

Varies

No

Overall SunPower Solar Panels Review

SunPower sets the industry standard for solar panel efficiency, performance and warranty. Customers with SunPower solar panels review them well, leaving great reviews such as the following:

"Five stars for the [most] efficient modules with the best warranty." — David S. via the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

"We chose SunPower because … their panels produce more than any other company. Our roof is not consumed with panels. We literally have half the amount of our neighbors." — Theresa D. via BBB

The company's all-in-one system approach simplifies the solar process without sacrificing quality. It's hard to go wrong with SunPower's solar panels, but we especially recommend them to homeowners with limited roof space.

If you're interested in seeing how much a solar panel system would cost for your home, you can get a free, no-obligation quote using this tool or by filling out the form below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What solar panels does SunPower use?

SunPower uses its own solar panels that are manufactured through Maxeon, the company's manufacturing arm. SunPower currently offers four types of panels: A Series, X Series, E Series and P Series. These panels are designed to cater to different energy needs.

Is SunPower Solar legit?

SunPower is a legitimate solar company performing both residential and commercial installations throughout the nation. SunPower consistently ranks among the best solar companies in the U.S. and offers high-quality, high-efficiency solar panels.

Does NASA use SunPower panels?

NASA initially chose SunPower solar panels to fuel its unmanned aerial vehicles (or UAVs) while they were in flight. Since 1997, NASA has continued to work with SunPower on rover projects and more. SunPower actually got its start as an engineering firm and solar panel manufacturer after its founders were inspired by the use of solar on space crafts.

Karsten Neumeister is a writer and renewable energy specialist with a background in writing and the humanities. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on renewable energy policy and technology. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.
Image of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) on a Montastrea cavernosa, common name: Great Star Coral. This is the virulent coral disease that continues to spread down the reef tract and has been persisting in the Miami-Dade region since 2014. FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A deadly coral disease took over Florida's reef tract in 2014 and now is rapidly spreading around the Caribbean; the infection may be a result of ballast water from ships, according to new research.

The infection, called stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) has the potential to be the most deadly coral disease because of how rapidly it spreads and its high death rate for more than 30 susceptible coral species, according to The Guardian.

Read More Show Less
Trending
A green sea turtle at Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia on Oct 10, 2019. Jonas Gratzer / LightRocket via Getty Images

The UN World Heritage Committee has proposed to downgrade the Great Barrier Reef's World Heritage status due to climate change and the Australian government isn't happy about it.


The World Heritage Committee is a group of 12 nations, chaired by China.

If the status of the reef is downgraded, it can affect the tourism revenue for Australia, as tourists aren't as interested in seeing dead coral, according to AP News.

In a draft report, the committee said "there is no possible doubt" that the once colorful coral reefs off the coast of Australia are "facing ascertained danger," according to AP News.

UNESCO plans to list the Great Barrier Reef as "in danger." The question of status is to be considered in China this July, according to AP News.

"The recommendation from Unesco is clear and unequivocal that the Australian government is not doing enough to protect our greatest natural asset, especially on climate change," said Richard Leck, head of oceans for the World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia according to the BBC.

Environment Minister Sussan Ley said that she and Foreign Minister Marise Payne called Unesco Director-General Audrey Azoulay to communicate Australia's "strong disappointment" and "bewilderment" about the proposal.

Ley said Australia will oppose the listing.

Imogen Zethoven, Australian Marine Conservation Society environmental consultant, embraced the committee's notion that "Australia hasn't done enough on climate change to protect the future of the reef," according to AP News.

Of the list of World Heritage reefs, the Great Barrier Reef could be the first to be listed as "in danger," primarily due to climate change reasons, Zethoven said, according to AP News.

Unesco pointed out that targets to improve the water quality in the reefs had not been met, according to the BBC.

"This decision was flawed. Clearly there were politics behind it," Ley told reporters, according to AP News. "Clearly those politics have subverted a proper process and for the World Heritage Committee to not even foreshadow this listing is, I think, appalling."

The 2,500 reefs have been World Heritage-listed since 1981, but the health of the coral reefs has been in danger because of rising ocean temperatures and climate change.

The 134,000 square miles of reefs have suffered coral bleaching events as a result of exceedingly warm ocean temperatures in 2016, 2017 and 2020.

Australia's own reef authority downgraded the reef's condition from poor to very poor in its five-year update in 2019.

If the reef is listed as "in danger" it can potentially increase publicity and help unlock access to funds, according to the BBC.

Audrey Nakagawa is the content creator intern at EcoWatch. She is a senior at James Madison University studying Media, Art, and Design, with a concentration in journalism. She's a reporter for The Breeze in the culture section and writes features on Harrisonburg artists, album reviews, and topics related to mental health and the environment. She was also a contributor for Virginia Reports where she reported on the impact that COVID-19 had on college students.

EcoWatch writer Tiffany Duong holds up discarded fishing line removed from a coral reef head during a Dive Against Debris. Sara Nilsson / Ocean Rebels

PADI (Professional Association of Scuba Divers) is inviting you to dive in (literally) to make positive changes for our ocean. The scuba diving behemoth and PADI AWARE Foundation, a non-profit public charity driving change for our ocean at the local level, are celebrating the fourth annual AWARE Week from Sept. 18 - 26 this year.

Read More Show Less
Researchers cultured cell lines of the coral Acropora tenui (pictured) to observe coral swallowing algae for the first time. MDC Seamarc Maldives / CC BY-SA 4.0

The relationship between coral and algae is hugely important: the coral provides algae with shelter, while the algae provides the coral with energy and color.

Read More Show Less
Andy Blackledge / CC BY 2.0

By Kelly Heber Dunning

As summer approaches, reports of the return of leisure travel are beginning to emerge following the unprecedented shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic. Many of the world's most popular tourism destinations have begun to plan an eventual reopening, exploring what their "new normal" will look like.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Coral reefs in the Atlantic Ocean are the most threatened by the climate crisis, according to a new study. Wild Horizons / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Unless we act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the world's coral reefs will stop growing by the end of the century.

Read More Show Less
Located 70 to 115 miles off the coast of Texas and Louisiana, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is one of 14 marine protected areas managed by NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. NOAA

Ocean acidification and pollution are well-known threats to the world's coral reef ecosystems. But in a recent study, scientists have uncovered an entirely new threat: human fecal bacteria.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Cocos Island Atoll in the Indian Ocean, part of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands group. PalawanOz / Wikimedia Commons

The Australian government has moved to create two new marine protected areas that cover an expanse of ocean twice the size of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Read More Show Less
A dispenser with "Reef friendly" sunscreen can be seen on the wall at the surfjack Hotel in Honolulu. Christina Horsten / Picture Alliance / Getty Images

Hawaii is on its way to banning more reef-damaging sunscreens.

Read More Show Less
Miami and Miami Beach were built right up to the waterfront, with little room for nature. Shobeir Ansari / Getty Images

By Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos and Brian Haus

Miami is all about the water and living life outdoors. Walking paths and parks line large stretches of downtown waterfront with a stunning bay view.

This downtown core is where the Army Corps of Engineers plans to build a US$6 billion sea wall, 20 feet high in places, through downtown neighborhoods and right between the Brickell district's high-rises and the bay.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch is a community of experts publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions for a healthier planet and life.
Australia Lobbying Thwarts Push to List Great Barrier Reef as Endangered

Greenpeace Australia called Friday's World Heritage Committee vote "a victory for one of the most cynical lobbying efforts in recent history."

Oceans
A green sea turtle is flourishing among the corals at lady Elliot island. Jonas Gratzer / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

An intense lobbying campaign by the pro-fossil fuel Australian government succeeded Friday in keeping the Great Barrier Reef off a list of World Heritage Sites considered "in danger," despite experts' warnings that the biodiverse ecosystem is increasingly imperiled by the global climate emergency.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Coral reefs are in danger around the world. Michael Aw / Ocean Image Bank

Will we find corals' white knights in spiny armor? The question is one that Florida scientists and ocean advocates are eager to answer ー and using lobsters to do so.

Read More Show Less
2022 SunPower Solar Panels Review: Are They Worth It?

Are SunPower's popular solar panels the best on the market?

Reviews
SunPower

SunPower and its solar panels consistently rank among the most popular in the nation for their exceptional efficiency, performance and warranty. In this SunPower solar panels review, we'll discuss how the industry leader's best solar panels line up against competitors' top products.

Looking to learn more about SunPower solar installations? Read our full review of SunPower. You can also get a free quote for home solar panels using this tool or the form below.

Panel Overview

With roots in solar technology and manufacturing, SunPower's solar modules actually predated the company's success in the installation market. To expand its installation services, SunPower announced in late 2021 that it would spin off its manufacturing arm into a new company, Maxeon Solar. SunPower's solar panels are still branded after their original namesake.

SunPower offers four monocrystalline solar panels, each with its own unique advantages. Which panel you choose will depend on your needs. Here's a rundown of each type of solar panel:

SunPower Solar Panel

Efficiency

Wattage

Best For

A Series

22.7%

400 W

Homeowners who want the best product available

X Series

22.7%

370 W

Space-constrained projects, like homes with small roofs

E Series

20%

320 W, 327 W or 435 W

Residential projects and smaller commercial operations

P Series

19%

380 to 400 W

Commercial installations or projects without space constraints

SunPower Solar Panel Efficiency

The first solar panel ever invented only had about a 6% efficiency rate — meaning only 6% of the energy striking the panel is converted into usable alternating current (AC) electricity. Even today, the most efficient solar panels in development only convert about 40% at the very most.

SunPower's ratings of 19-22% (varying with the different models available) are significantly higher than most conventional panels on the market today, providing a variety of benefits. These include:

  • Requiring a lower overall cost: Since high-efficiency solar panels have a better power output, the number of panels you need on your home is reduced, which can lead to lower total costs.
  • Providing more power for the usable space: Along the same lines, high-efficiency panels provide more energy potential with less space. This means homeowners with less available roof space can still be good candidates for SunPower solar panels.
  • Being more sustainable overall: Not only do high-efficiency panels provide more bang for your buck, but they also help to lower your impact. Fewer panels require fewer materials, therefore reducing the energy and waste that goes into your SunPower system.

Temperature Coefficient

Temperature coefficient is another way to describe solar panels' performance in varying conditions. Solar panels operate at an ideal temperature of around 75 degrees F, and their performance can degrade with temperatures significantly above or below that figure. The smaller the temperature coefficient, the less performance suffers when temperatures change.

SunPower solar panels currently hold a temperature coefficient between -.35 and -.29, some of the best on the market today. If you live in a climate that stays mild year-round, temperature coefficient will be less of a factor in your solar panel choice.

SunPower Solar Panel Warranty

Solar panels are known for their durability, but a warranty is still a hugely important consideration in your purchase. Luckily, product warranties come attached to the purchase of most systems. These are good for at least 10 years, and the best cover performance up to 25 years.

Most solar panel product warranties cover the following:

  • Defective products
  • Failed parts

Most solar panel product warranties do not cover the following:

  • Underperforming systems resulting from poor installation or products
  • Workmanship errors like roof leaks
  • Accidents like tree branches falling on your panels or squirrels chewing through wires

SunPower's 25-year complete confidence warranty offers the following to address a number of the common pitfalls of solar warranties:

  • All-in-one product warranty: Systems built with products from different manufacturers can result in a customer getting passed back and forth between companies as they shift blame for a failed part or system. SunPower's warranty, however, covers the complete system to ensure your problem is resolved in one place.
  • Removal and shipping costs of defective parts: Conventional warranties usually don't cover the costs of removing and shipping defective or damaged parts. SunPower's warranty ensures no extra costs in replacing panels or other parts.
  • Power production guarantee: Power production guarantees are performance warranties that ensure your solar system will operate at at least 90% of its original power production for 25 years. Conventional solar warranties may not cover replacement parts if your solar system's degradation rate is higher than expected.

Overall, companies like SunPower and Sunpro are making all-in-one system warranties more commonplace. The results are paying dividends.

Cost of SunPower Solar Panels

The cost of solar is difficult to predict by provider, since project prices vary so much with your location, electricity bills and energy needs. When you get a quote from SunPower, the price tag may seem a little higher than average, since its business focuses on efficiency. But remember, purchasing more efficient panels will save you more in the long run.

The best way to get a firm understanding of how much SunPower solar would cost you is to reach out and get a free quote. Even better would be to get quotes from SunPower and a few other local companies to compare prices. Keep in mind the quality of panels you're considering, as the cheapest solar panels don't always provide the best value.

How to Pay For SunPower Solar Panels

SunPower offers three general solar financing plans, all of which come with SunPower's 25-year warranty:

  1. Cash purchase: Purchasing a solar power system upfront from SunPower will provide the best solar payback period and the highest return on your investment. If you're able to get the money together, this method is the most cost-effective.
  2. Purchase with a solar loan: SunPower can help you take out a loan with one of its partners. With this loan, you can purchase the system and pay back the loan. Most loans are repaid within five to 12 years. If you choose to purchase a system with a solar loan, you'll still be eligible for the solar tax credit, and your solar panels will increase the value of your property. However, because of the interest you'll be paying on your loan, this option ends up costing a little more than a cash purchase.
  3. Solar lease: SunPower provides solar leases, through which you rent solar panels from SunPower. SunPower retains ownership of the panels so you lose the benefits of net metering, the solar tax credit and adding to your property value. Solar leases offer a low-upfront cost option with less return on the backend. Though less advantageous than purchasing a system, leases extend the benefits of solar to homeowners who may have low credit or don't want to deal with the hassle of purchasing and maintaining panels.

Here's a recap of each financing option available for SunPower solar panels:


Cash Purchase

Solar Loan Purchase

Solar Lease

Solar panel ownership

You own the system

You own the system

SunPower owns the system

Eligible for tax credit?

Yes

Yes

No

Adds to your property value?

Yes

Yes

No

Money required upfront?

Yes

Varies

No

Overall SunPower Solar Panels Review

SunPower sets the industry standard for solar panel efficiency, performance and warranty. Customers with SunPower solar panels review them well, leaving great reviews such as the following:

"Five stars for the [most] efficient modules with the best warranty." — David S. via the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

"We chose SunPower because … their panels produce more than any other company. Our roof is not consumed with panels. We literally have half the amount of our neighbors." — Theresa D. via BBB

The company's all-in-one system approach simplifies the solar process without sacrificing quality. It's hard to go wrong with SunPower's solar panels, but we especially recommend them to homeowners with limited roof space.

If you're interested in seeing how much a solar panel system would cost for your home, you can get a free, no-obligation quote using this tool or by filling out the form below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What solar panels does SunPower use?

SunPower uses its own solar panels that are manufactured through Maxeon, the company's manufacturing arm. SunPower currently offers four types of panels: A Series, X Series, E Series and P Series. These panels are designed to cater to different energy needs.

Is SunPower Solar legit?

SunPower is a legitimate solar company performing both residential and commercial installations throughout the nation. SunPower consistently ranks among the best solar companies in the U.S. and offers high-quality, high-efficiency solar panels.

Does NASA use SunPower panels?

NASA initially chose SunPower solar panels to fuel its unmanned aerial vehicles (or UAVs) while they were in flight. Since 1997, NASA has continued to work with SunPower on rover projects and more. SunPower actually got its start as an engineering firm and solar panel manufacturer after its founders were inspired by the use of solar on space crafts.

Karsten Neumeister is a writer and renewable energy specialist with a background in writing and the humanities. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on renewable energy policy and technology. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.
Image of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) on a Montastrea cavernosa, common name: Great Star Coral. This is the virulent coral disease that continues to spread down the reef tract and has been persisting in the Miami-Dade region since 2014. FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A deadly coral disease took over Florida's reef tract in 2014 and now is rapidly spreading around the Caribbean; the infection may be a result of ballast water from ships, according to new research.

The infection, called stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) has the potential to be the most deadly coral disease because of how rapidly it spreads and its high death rate for more than 30 susceptible coral species, according to The Guardian.

Read More Show Less
Trending
A green sea turtle at Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia on Oct 10, 2019. Jonas Gratzer / LightRocket via Getty Images

The UN World Heritage Committee has proposed to downgrade the Great Barrier Reef's World Heritage status due to climate change and the Australian government isn't happy about it.


The World Heritage Committee is a group of 12 nations, chaired by China.

If the status of the reef is downgraded, it can affect the tourism revenue for Australia, as tourists aren't as interested in seeing dead coral, according to AP News.

In a draft report, the committee said "there is no possible doubt" that the once colorful coral reefs off the coast of Australia are "facing ascertained danger," according to AP News.

UNESCO plans to list the Great Barrier Reef as "in danger." The question of status is to be considered in China this July, according to AP News.

"The recommendation from Unesco is clear and unequivocal that the Australian government is not doing enough to protect our greatest natural asset, especially on climate change," said Richard Leck, head of oceans for the World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia according to the BBC.

Environment Minister Sussan Ley said that she and Foreign Minister Marise Payne called Unesco Director-General Audrey Azoulay to communicate Australia's "strong disappointment" and "bewilderment" about the proposal.

Ley said Australia will oppose the listing.

Imogen Zethoven, Australian Marine Conservation Society environmental consultant, embraced the committee's notion that "Australia hasn't done enough on climate change to protect the future of the reef," according to AP News.

Of the list of World Heritage reefs, the Great Barrier Reef could be the first to be listed as "in danger," primarily due to climate change reasons, Zethoven said, according to AP News.

Unesco pointed out that targets to improve the water quality in the reefs had not been met, according to the BBC.

"This decision was flawed. Clearly there were politics behind it," Ley told reporters, according to AP News. "Clearly those politics have subverted a proper process and for the World Heritage Committee to not even foreshadow this listing is, I think, appalling."

The 2,500 reefs have been World Heritage-listed since 1981, but the health of the coral reefs has been in danger because of rising ocean temperatures and climate change.

The 134,000 square miles of reefs have suffered coral bleaching events as a result of exceedingly warm ocean temperatures in 2016, 2017 and 2020.

Australia's own reef authority downgraded the reef's condition from poor to very poor in its five-year update in 2019.

If the reef is listed as "in danger" it can potentially increase publicity and help unlock access to funds, according to the BBC.

Audrey Nakagawa is the content creator intern at EcoWatch. She is a senior at James Madison University studying Media, Art, and Design, with a concentration in journalism. She's a reporter for The Breeze in the culture section and writes features on Harrisonburg artists, album reviews, and topics related to mental health and the environment. She was also a contributor for Virginia Reports where she reported on the impact that COVID-19 had on college students.

EcoWatch writer Tiffany Duong holds up discarded fishing line removed from a coral reef head during a Dive Against Debris. Sara Nilsson / Ocean Rebels

PADI (Professional Association of Scuba Divers) is inviting you to dive in (literally) to make positive changes for our ocean. The scuba diving behemoth and PADI AWARE Foundation, a non-profit public charity driving change for our ocean at the local level, are celebrating the fourth annual AWARE Week from Sept. 18 - 26 this year.

Read More Show Less
Researchers cultured cell lines of the coral Acropora tenui (pictured) to observe coral swallowing algae for the first time. MDC Seamarc Maldives / CC BY-SA 4.0

The relationship between coral and algae is hugely important: the coral provides algae with shelter, while the algae provides the coral with energy and color.

Read More Show Less
Andy Blackledge / CC BY 2.0

By Kelly Heber Dunning

As summer approaches, reports of the return of leisure travel are beginning to emerge following the unprecedented shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic. Many of the world's most popular tourism destinations have begun to plan an eventual reopening, exploring what their "new normal" will look like.

Read More Show Less
Trending