Global warming a threat to Blue Mountains World Heritage

More intense and frequent bushfires due to climate change threaten the world heritage values of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. FoE has joined with other green organisations in taking a petition to the World Heritage Committee meeting being held in New Zealand/Aotearoa.

Climate change poses a direct threat to the World Heritage-listed eucalypt forests of the Blue Mountains and urgent steps must be taken to protect it, a petition to the World Heritage Committee states.

The petition calls for the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area to be listed as ‘in danger’ and for urgent action to reduce Australia’s greenhouse emissions. It is signed by the Climate Action Network Australia, Greenpeace, the NSW Nature Conservation Council and Friends of the Earth.

“Our iconic Blue Mountains could turn black if we do not act quickly to limit the impacts of climate change,” legal co-ordinator for the Climate Action Network Australia, Phillip Freeman said.

The petition highlights the fact that eucalypt forests in the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area are among the most fire-dependant forest ecosystems in the world and that more frequent and intense fires as a result of climate change threaten the survival of many species.

 “Climate change will increase temperatures and lead to more wildfires. If this happens, the natural beauty and scientific value of the Blue Mountains will deteriorate and this threatens its status as a World Heritage Area.”

An ‘in danger’ listing would result in a program of corrective measures being developed and implemented, including a plan to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The petition calls for Australia to introduce a price on carbon emissions, commit to reducing its greenhouse emissions by at least 30 per cent by 2020 and increase its renewable energy target from 2 per cent to 25 per cent by 2020.

Full details on teh case can be found at: http://www.cana.net.au/ACJP/cases.php?case_table=cases_acjp