Leaders gather for key United Nations climate talks in Poland

04 December, 2018, 13:55 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • India’s carbon emissions projected to rise 6.3% this year Report

The COP24 climate summit comes at a crucial juncture in the battle to rein in the effects of our heating planet.

Speaking directly to the leaders of the world, at what is being described as the most important climate change meeting since the 2015 Paris agreement, the English broadcaster said action must be taken before it is too late.

Of the 10 countries in the world considered most threatened by climate change, seven are in Africa - Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Sudan.

"We feel as if we have been penalised for the mistakes we never made", said Bhandari. "But this ambition also needs to be realised at the Belgian level".

In a rare intervention, presidents of previous United Nations climate summits issued a joint statement as the talks got underway, calling on states to take "decisive action... to tackle these urgent threats".

Negotiators at the talks will hear details of a global review on climate change-tackling efforts, and the pressure is on to work towards increasing commitments from countries by 2020.

"We require deep transformations of our economies and societies to build a better world for all".

Most notably, American president Donald Trump has shown a complete disregard of any sustainable climate goals, announcing his intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and implementing policies that favor the fossil fuel industry at the expense of greener tech.

Trump is a promoter of fossil fuels and nuclear power and has proposed renegotiating the Paris Accord - an idea many dismiss as impractical.

The UN negotiations got off to a chaotic start in the Polish mining city of Katowice Sunday, with the opening session delayed almost three hours by a series of last-ditch submissions.

A string of major climate reports have cast doubt over the entire process to avert runaway global warming, suggesting the Paris goals fall well short of what is needed.

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Just this week, the UN's environment programme said the voluntary national contributions agreed in Paris would have to triple if the world was to cap global warming below 2C.

For 1.5C, they must increase fivefold.

While the data are clear, a global political consensus over how to tackle climate change remains elusive.

To inject momentum, the World Bank Group on Monday said it would provide a further US$200 billion over five years from the start of the next decade.

For his part, Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro vowed to follow Washington's lead during his campaign.

Many countries are already dealing with the droughts, higher seas and catastrophic storms climate change is exacerbating.

Guterres called for a "huge increase in ambitions" during the two weeks of negotiations in Poland, adding "we can not afford to fail in Katowice".

Attenborough, known for hosting nature broadcasts including the popular BBC series "Planet Earth", was chosen for the UN's "people's seat", representing those populations most affected by climate change.

Under Paris, richer nations - responsible for the majority of historic greenhouse gas emissions - are expected to contribute funding that developing nations can access to make their economies greener.

He will deliver comments from members of the public to world leaders who are attending the conference.

With millions of people in the Netherlands living in low-lying areas, "you have your evidence and your case in point to make, sure, that you prevent sea levels from rising even further" Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told The Associated Press.

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