World Heritage sites threatened by climate change; UN urged to seek carbon cuts

Wed, 2007-06-27 10:29Bill Miller
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World Heritage sites threatened by climate change; UN urged to seek carbon cuts

The UN World Heritage Convention, meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand, has been asked to add six sites to its “in-danger” list . They include the Great Barrier Reef, SagarmathaNational Park (which includes Everest) in Nepal, Belize Barrier Reef, Huascaran National Park in Peru, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park on the U.S.-Canada border, and Australia’s Blue Mountains.

Petitions for the listing, which began in 2004, have attracted high-profile signatories including Everest climber Sir Edmund Hillary and BBC film-maker/naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

The convention was formed in 1972 to ensure the long-term protection of important cultural and natural sites. To date, 184 nations are signatories. Petitioners hope the 21-nation governing committee will acknowledge the threat climate change poses to the sites.

At last year's meeting, the World Heritage Committee rejected a motion calling for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. This year, campaigners want the governing committee to reconsider its position.

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On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency's internal watchdog, the inspector general released a scathing report on the agency's failure to control leaks from the nation's natural gas distribution system.

The report, titled “Improvements Needed in EPA Efforts to Address Methane Emissions From Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines,” describes a string of failures by the EPA to control leaks of one of the most potent greenhouse gases, methane, from the rapidly...

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