Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

United Nations chief issues dramatic climate appeal to world leaders

David Attenborough Amanpour COP24 Climate Change_00000000 Nations must triple efforts to achieve Paris climate goals: Study
Derrick Tucker | 07 December, 2018, 03:28

Envoys from nearly 200 nations gathered in Poland's southern city of Katowice, a day earlier than originally planned because of the large number of issues that need to be resolved by December 14.

Without drastic action, there will be catastrophic consequences, he warned.

He was speaking at the opening of a United Nations climate change conference in Poland on Monday, where delegates from across the world will negotiate how to tackle the issue. "We have been bearing the brunt of disproportionate impact of climate change despite being a low carbon-emitting country". The 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24), the 14th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 14), and the Conference of Signatories to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1) will be held as part of the forum.

The comments were made in Katowice, Poland, the city hosting the UN's COP24 climate talks - a multilateral meeting drawing together about 200 countries to set the rulebook for the 2015 Paris climate accords.

Famed British naturalist Sir David Attenborough echoed his warnings, telling the gathering that the "collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizons" if no urgent action is taking against global warming. "So, we need a huge increase in ambition".

At the framework of a Talanoa Dialogue, the six panelists, including Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) Chief Executive Chief Executive Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Dr Nahid Rezwana of Dhaka University, Dr Sultan Ahmed of Ministry of Environment and Forests, as well as almost 40 invitees were given a voice to share their stories, ambitions and engagements regarding climate change.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the action film star and former governor of California, insisted the United States is "still in" the Paris accord to curb global warming despite Trump's decision to walk away from it.

It's a legally binding agreement to fight climate change, where countries committed to keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and, if possible, below 1.5 degrees.

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Recent EDF research demonstrates that well-designed global carbon markets can roughly double emissions reductions relative to current NDCs for the same overall cost of achieving current NDCs, compared to each country acting on its own.

Delegates at the COP24 talks "cannot and will not discuss if governments worldwide must achieve rapid greenhouse gas emission reductions to limit climate risks - but how they can do this", he said. Without drastic action, the planet is on pace to warm an additional two to three degrees by the year 2100.

The other members of the group of industrialised nations - including the biggest polluter, China - reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the Paris deal, taking into account their national circumstances.

"In short, we need a complete transformation of our global energy economy, as well as how we manage land and forest resources, " Guterres said. Duda said there's "no plan today to fully give up on coal" as Poland's supplies can run for another 200 years.

US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal past year, stating his opinion that it was "an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries".

The world has already seen first-hand the effects of climate change: a crescendo of deadly wildfires, heatwaves and hurricanes made more destructive by rising seas.

"If we fail, the Arctic and Antarctic will continue to melt, corals will bleach and then die, the oceans will rise, more people will die from air pollution, water scarcity will plague a significant proportion of humanity, and the cost of disasters will skyrocket", he warned.

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