Greece to Push for Action on Protecting Cultural Heritage at UN Climate Summit



Greece will present a proposal for coordinated action to protect cultural and natural heritage from the impact of climate change on Monday at the UN Climate Action Summit, taking place in New York City.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will be among sixty heads of state who are expected to speak at the summit, which is intended to spark greater willingness to combat climate change.

The proposal was based on the recommendations of the Atmospheric Physics and Climatology Research Centre at the Academy of Athens, which is headed by Professor Christos Zerefos.

The Greek initiative, which has the support of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and UNESCO, was among nine flagship proposals selected by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres to be discussed at the climate summit.

The Greek proposal aims to take measures and create mechanisms to protect cultural and natural heritage by increasing its resilience and ability to adapt, and to promote research and education. It was the only Summit proposal that focused on protecting cultural heritage.

While he attends the U.N. Summit, the prime minister will present and explain the significance of the initiative to the other heads of state and government, while he already has the support of a significant number of countries. Zerefos will be the expert scientist sent by the Greek government.

Scientists have recently expressed concern regarding the impact of climate change on ancient Greek monuments, including those on the Acropolis.

The extreme weather phenomena seen in recent years, as well as air pollution and acid rain, have created structural problems in the walls and temples on the Acropolis, which is still one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in Greece.

These issues were reported and discussed at length at the International Conference on the Impact of Climate Change on Cultural Monuments, which was held in in Athens last June.

According to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA), Greece aims to host a major event on the issue in Athens next May, inviting the U.N. Secretary General and other prominent figures from around the world to attend, especially from countries that support the Greek proposal.

For the same reason, Greece is organizing a special Pre-summit event this Saturday, as part of the 74th U.N. General assembly, which will be held before the prime minister’s official presentation.