Climate change

How climate change puts our cultural heritage at risk

Illustration of Socrates statue surrounded by rising water, as sea level rise threatens cultural sites.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sea level rise due primarily to global warming threatens to submerge dozens of the most culturally significant sites in the Mediterranean.

  • In Italy alone, at least 13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites are at risk, according to a study published this week in Nature Communications.

Why it matters: UNESCO designates cultural World Heritage Sites for places that represent cultural traditions or civilizations that have since disappeared. The Mediterranean region was home to several ancient civilizations, many of which flourished by the sea.

The huge, untapped potential of energy efficiency

A power plant producing lots of smoke in front of a beautiful, red sunset
Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A much larger investment in deployment of existing energy efficiency technologies and stronger policy measures would enable major progress toward meeting the goals of the Paris climate deal, the International Energy Agency said in a new report.

Why it matters: Nothing of the sort is happening right now, and in fact progress in energy efficiency is slowing, IEA warned.