Weekend, Climate change negotiators gather in Poland

Weekend, Climate change negotiators gather in Poland

"Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale".

At his address at the climate talks yesterday, Mr Attenborough said: "The people have spoken: leaders of the world, you must lead, the continuation of our civilisations and the natural world upon which we depend are in your hands".

The U.N. chief chided countries, particularly those most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, for failing to do enough to back the 2015 Paris climate accord, which set a goal of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) - ideally 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) - by the end of the century.

Johan Rockstrom, designated director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said the talks in the Silesian mining city of Katowice were crucial in nailing down how the Paris promises will work in practice.

Guterres gave the warning at the 24th Conference of Parties (COP24) Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland on Monday.

"All too often, climate action is seen as a burden", said the United Nations secretary-General, as he explained that "decisive climate action today is our chance to right our ship and set a course for a better future for all".

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, emphasized the sense of urgency, saying that climate change was already "a matter of life and death" for many countries.

He said that the World Meteorological Organisation has measured the 20 warmest years on record in the past 22 years, with four of these in the past four years.

The 197 countries collectively agreed to keep global temperature rises to no more than two degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels, and if possible, to limit the rise to 1.5 degrees centigrade.

Guterres said climate change was already taking its toll.

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"At the forefront of the fight against climate change in Africa, the African Development Bank, strongly represented in previous COP summits is, once again, present in Katowice to ensure that the voice of Africa is heard loud and clear in global climate negotiations", the bank said on its website.

The US has previously pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, and to provide billions in aid for poorer countries by 2020.

"The impacts of climate change are increasingly hard to ignore", said the statement, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.

Such a move, which experts say is the only way to achieve the 1.5-degree goal, would require a radical overhaul of the global economy. In terms of power generation in the country, 80 per cent of it comes from coal-based power plants and the summit is sponsored by JWS - the largest coal producer in Poland.

During that visit, Guterres had presented the Indian leader with the United Nations Champions of the Earth Award for policy leadership for 2018.

"Climate change is running faster than we are and we must catch up sooner rather than later, before it's too late", he said. Rules that will allow all the countries on board of the climate action agreement to put into motion, hoping this will be the definite push forward.

"We are in trouble, we are in deep trouble with climate change".

Over the weekend, 19 G20 member states reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris climate accord - except for the U.S., which pulled out of the landmark agreement a year ago.

President Donald Trump has threatened to pull the USA out of the Paris agreement because of what he says is the economic damage the treaty's provisions would cause.

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