Kilimanjaro’s glaciers, the summit of climate challenges

By Damien Glez
Posted on Tuesday, 8 November 2022 14:44

Although Africa’s COP in Sharm el-Sheikh has just begun, a United Nations report has predicted that the continent’s last remaining glaciers will be gone by 2050.

“The snows of Kilimanjaro will give you a white coat to sleep in,” went the syrupy lyrics to a tune from the 1960’s French yéyé years, by a singer who had probably never set foot on the mountain – home to three volcanoes in north-eastern Tanzania.

Fantasising about the world’s beautiful sites is good. Preserving them is even better. Because the “white coat” from Pascal Danel’s song could be a distant memory in less than three decades…

Based on satellite data, a recent UNESCO report predicts that the glaciers in one-third of the UN’s World Heritage sites will have melted by 2050, regardless of whatever  measures are taken to combat climate change. This global heritage covers almost 10% of the Earth’s glacial surface, about 18,600 glaciers at 50 important tourist sites, including sacred places.