U.N. Climate Summit, COP24, Warns of ‘Collapse of Our Civilizations’

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Natural historian Sir David Attenborough listens to speeches during the opening of COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland. They aim to establish rules, figure out financing and build ways to verify that nations are meeting their commitments.

"At the upcoming summit, we expect G20 countries to demonstrate their commitment to the Paris Agreement and to taking the necessary action to limit warming to 1.5°C, including by moving forward with the Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan from past year".

Political leaders on Monday began arriving in the Polish coal city of Katowice where two weeks of talks have begun to revive the landmark Paris 2015 deal on climate change as dire warnings mount about a lack of action.

"These talks have been embroiled with blame game and had largely shifted away from the main goal of the convention and the Paris Agreement, which is people and planet", Singh said in an interview.

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

He has also moved to withdraw the US from the Paris pact.

The 92-year-old famed British naturalist and BBC presenter blamed humans for the, "disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years".

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.

Harjeet Singh, who leads the climate advocacy of ActionAid, said the high-level summit should be ultimately about helping and protecting people, particularly the most vulnerable to the adverse impact of a rapidly warming world.

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres has asked decision-makers to focus on four key things - a solid plan, stepping up climate action, more funding and smart investment in the future of the planet. The transcript of the Secretary General's joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda was issued by the United Nations spokesperson's office here.

Guterres said governments should embrace the opportunities rather than cling to fossil fuels such as coal, a dig at hosts Poland.

At the COP24 climate talks, nations must agree to a rulebook palatable to all 183 states that have ratified the Paris deal.

Tens of thousands of people marched peacefully on Sunday in Brussels urging governments to respect commitments on countering climate change as a United Nations conference on keeping global warming in check opened in Poland.

"It also takes place in a scenario where we have clear signals about the urgency with which we need to address the issues of climate change".

Delegates at the talks said sticking points were likely to include finance and the level of scrutiny associated with monitoring individual nations' emissions.

Valerie Masson-Delmotte, a French climate scientist, said 90 authors spent more than 1 ½ years assessing about 6,000 peer-reviewed publications for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's recent special report on the 1.5 C-target.

Residents of the world's smaller islands, many of whom face catastrophic flooding from higher sea levels in a warming world, have been among the world's most vocal backers of measures to combat climate change.

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