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Culture, Climate Change and the Real Cost of Coal

This week, an important meeting of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee came to an underwhelming end; thousands of people across the world were hoping the Committee, in its 41st session just concluded in Poland, would live up to its mandate, prioritise culture over coal, and declare as “In Danger” sites like the Sundarbans, Lamu Old Town, several places in Turkey, and arguably the greatest, most imminent loss: the Great Barrier Reef.

Marking these sites as ”In Danger” would have placed on alert national governments, custodians of these sites of Outstanding Universal Value. The label would also have helped campaigners in each of these countries challenge the destructive fossil fuel projects that are being proposed in or around these sites – projects that will cause irreversible damage to these sites either through the impacts of steadily worsening climate change, or even more directly, as huge new coal projects are planned for the areas around these Heritage Sites, like the proposed $16 billion Adani Carmichael coal mine, port and rail project which poses a significant threat to the 2,300km-long Great Barrier Reef. Read full article here