we must act now

Australia’s world heritage properties, including the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, are at risk from climate change, according to new research from the Australian National University.

There is currently a lack of data available about the potential impacts of climate change upon built heritage but higher sea and land surface temperatures, more severe storm events, ocean acidification and rising sea levels could damage heritage properties, the research predicts.

Commissioned by the government, the report is being used by environment minister Peter Garrett, to push for an agreement on emissions cuts before an international conference in December.

“The disintegration of our World Heritage areas would be an irreparable loss,” he said in a statement. “We must act now.”

Architecture and Design, 5 Aug 2009