Really, Australia?

The Unesco world heritage committee’s decision on the Great Barrier Reef’s ‘in danger’ status is currently scheduled for 23 July. Photograph: James Cook University/AFP via Getty Images

It’s been a couple months since we asked anyone the fundamental question. Ok, we acknowledge our not being qualified to make the scientific judgement on whether the Great Barrier Reef is in sufficient danger to be listed as such, officially. But UNESCO has the qualified scientists, so let them do their job without undue influence. It sure seems likely to help the entire world to see how fossil-fueled climate change is impacting such natural wonders. It would raise consciousness in a way that might even be good for Australia–whose government obviously thinks otherwise. Hopefully UNESCO will stick to its principles and resist this lobbying. When oil-based economies come to lend a hand, watch out for conflict of interest:

‘Fossil fuel friends’: Saudi Arabia and Bahrain back Australia’s lobbying on Great Barrier Reef

Exclusive: oil rich nations back push against Unesco recommendation to have reef placed on world heritage ‘in danger’ list

Australia has gained the support of oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in its lobbying effort to keep the Great Barrier Reef off a list of world heritage sites in danger.

The two nations, both members of the 21-country committee, are co-sponsoring amendments seen by the Guardian that back Australia and ask the world heritage committee to push back a key decision until at least 2023.

In a meeting on Tuesday night, Australian time, a senior official from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) told Australia’s environment minister, Sussan Ley, during a face-to-face meeting in Paris the organisation had followed all necessary steps before recommending the reef be listed as in danger…

Read the entire article here.

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