Marcel Kempers is on a mission: he wants thirty percent of the oceans to be under protection by 2030, allowing timely intervention should climate change or environmental pollution puts certain ecosystems at risk. Currently, only 8 percent is protected. Reef Support, the company he founded together with Yohan Runhaar, is working towards making this happen. This week, at the ClimateLaunchpad Global Finals, he will pitch his masterplan to save the coral reefs. “We can do this!”

The Reef Support website features a real-time counter indicating the percentage of coral reefs remaining: just over 46 percent on 25 October 2021, and decreasing slowly. It underscores the urgency. Globally, more than 200 million people depend on the coral reefs, for their livelihood and as a natural barrier against high tides and waves. “Nearly all coral will be at risk by 2050 if we don’t take any action now”, Kempers says.