Azara Blog: Campaigners want to use World Heritage as a way to force emission cuts

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Date published: 2007/06/23

The BBC says:

Campaigners say the UN must take urgent action to protect six World Heritage sites, including Mount Everest, from the impact of climate change.

Groups, including Greenpeace and the Climate Justice Programme, have been petitioning the global body to list the locations as "in danger".

Nations that have signed the UN World Heritage Convention have a legal duty to cut emissions, the campaigners say.

The convention's committee is currently meeting in New Zealand.

The campaigners are taking the piss. What they want to do is stop the world (i.e. cut emissions now, dramatically). They have not been able to convince enough governments of the world that this should happen. So instead they are trying to do an end run around the goverments using the World Heritage Committee. They might well convince the latter (who in good style have just caused a huge amount of emissions by flying all the way to New Zealand to have their meeting). Only if the Committee does as the campaigners want then the governments of the world would just either pull out of the Convention (unlikely) or ignore the Committee (more likely). No government is going to shut down a coal power station because Mount Everest is allegedly in danger. This whole campaign is just gesture politics, but of course that is all the likes of Greenpeace and the others are good for.

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