World Heritage – who cares?

Five world heritage sites in Australia have deteriorated according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Outlook 3 report

A spokesperson for the Federal Environment Minister trotted out the argument in The Guardian that millions was being spent on the GBR and that the hot weather was a problem for us last summer. True but the LNP won’t lift its low 26-28% target for 2030, won’t commit to progressive targets between now and 2030 or a net zero target by 2050 and is still pursuing a ‘gas-led recovery’. 

Already 120 countries have signed up to carbon neutrality or net zero by 2050. The UK has cut emissions by 43% in the last 30 years. 

The Prime Minister’s language steered away from coal this year but it’s a far cry from showing leadership on reducing emissions and if the PM doesn’t care for deep emissions reductions, the IUCN report demonstrates that he doesn’t care about World Heritage.

Climate change has now overtaken invasive species as the biggest threat to natural World Heritage

Great Barrier Reefcritical (the most urgent status)
Blue Mountains and Gondwana Rainforestssignificant concern
Shark Pay and Ningaloo Coastgood with some concerns
Kakadu National Parksignificant concern
Queensland Wet Tropicssignificant concern

Climate change is now and is a very high or high threat in 11 out of 16 Australian World Heritage sites.

Natural World Heritage sites are amongst the world’s most precious places, and we owe it to future generations to protect them. The IUCN World Heritage Outlook 3 reveals the damage climate change is wreaking on natural World Heritage, from shrinking glaciers to coral bleaching to increasingly frequent and severe fires and droughts. As the international community defines new objectives to conserve biodiversity, this report signals the urgency with which we must tackle environmental challenges together at the planetary scale.

Bruno Oberle, IUCN Director General

The British President of COP26 summit in Glasgow, UK Energy Minister, Alok Sharma, thanked the Australian state and territory governments for their efforts on climate change – and urged all governments to make commitments to reach net zero by 2050 – a pointed dig at the Federal Government.

Ironically the states will likely deliver on Australia’s 2030 target leaving the Federal Government clinging to its fossil fuel fiction, caring more about the voters it has been able to mislead into thinking Australia can carry on regardless.

Photo by Giorgia Doglioni on Unsplash

Photo top by Chad Taylor on Unsplash

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