Climate talks kick off in Poland with boost from G-20 summit

07 December, 2018, 03:32 | Author: Marie Harrington
  • Sir David Attenborough Lays Into World Leaders At UN Climate Change Summit

Climate change is already affecting communities around the world, and a slew of scientific and policy warnings have come out in the months leading up to this meeting.

It marks the deadline for the 197 parties that signed the Convention to adopt guidelines for the implementation of the historic 2015 Paris Agreement, according to UN News.

With just one degree Celsius of warming so far, Earth is already being subjected to raging forest fires, flooding and superstorms made worse by rising seas.

"This is a very, very important conference", United Nations climate chief Patricia Espinosa told reporters.

"We are trying to save the world from annihilation, but we must do this in a way that those who live with us today in the world have the best possible living conditions", Polish President Andrzej Duda said.

The Paris Agreement's rapid entry into force in 2016 broke records, but records are also being broken outside of the United Nations that emphasize the urgency of action: record wildfires, record temperatures, record storms, record levels of carbon in the atmosphere.

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.

The Advanced Energy Economy Institute said California employed more than half a million people in green energy in 2016 - several times the amount of U.S. coal workers nationally.

Stating that we "are extremely concerned about the climate crisis" Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama issued a joint statement, together with three other former COP Presidents, last night calling on countries to send an unequivocal message from COP24 in Katowice, Poland, that they are serious about strengthening their commitments to reduce emissions and help build resilience.

G20 leaders on Saturday agreed a final communique after their summit in Buenos Aires, declaring that the Paris Agreement was "irreversible".

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There is still a lot of brokenness in the hands of people in power who make us feel that we don't belong. And so then it's time to go to marriage counseling", she added, to delighted laughter from the audience.

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.

Even solid progress in Katowice on the Paris goals may not be enough to prevent runaway global warming, as a series of major climate reports have outlined.

While the data are clear, a global political consensus over how to tackle climate change remains elusive. We are off-track, we will not reach 2020 with what was promised in Paris.

"America is more than just Washington or one leader", he said, adding that he wished he could travel back in time - like the cyborg he portrayed in "The Terminator" - to stop fossil fuels from being used.

"It is now more critical than ever that all countries commit to doing their fair share of cutting emissions and providing the tools and resources required to address climate change".

"A failure to act now risks pushing us beyond a point of no return with catastrophic consequences for life as we know it", Amjad Abdulla, chief negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States, said in the AFP report.

A key issue up for debate is how the fight against climate change is funded, with developed and developing nations still worlds apart in their demands.

The World Bank has also announced a doubling of its climate fund, promising $200bn in funding over five years to support countries taking action against climate change.

Lots of world leaders are giving talks at the opening meeting, but some are commenting that the number of people attending are way down compared to a climate change conference that took in Paris in 2015.

"We will see what comes out of it, because a conference is a conference but what is really important is what is actually done, the actions", she said.

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