Coal question looms large as climate talks begin in Poland

Gwen Vasquez
December 5, 2018

The Paris Agreement is potentially the strongest health agreement of this century, in not only addressing the health risks associated with climate change through mitigation and adaptation mechanisms, but also in helping ensure the attainment of the SDGs, which are integral to good health.

The Paris agreement vowed to limit global temperature rises to under two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) and to the safer cap of 1.5C if at all possible.

"The question is therefore this: is there sufficient political will to implement the many solutions we have available to promote the aforementioned model of development?" the cardinal queried.

But the rate of climate change is rapidly outstripping mankind's response.

Morawiecki said at the conference's Global Climate Action event that, "comparing the various starting points of different countries", Poland boasted "achievements in reducing carbon emissions in the context of the Kyoto Protocol".

In his welcome remarks, Guterres also highlighted the special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

He argued during a panel discussion that "this is evidenced by the results we have achieved in reducing emissions, in particular through increasing the forest cover and by supporting global climate negotiations". "We require deep transformations of our economies and societies".

Poland's deputy environment minister, Michal Kurtyka, who is chairing the conference, urged envoys from nearly 200 nations to use the time between Sunday and December 14 to make progress on fleshing out the 2015 Paris agreement.

G20 leaders on Saturday wrapped up their summit by declaring the Paris Agreement "irreversible".

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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.

The United States was the only holdout.

"So, Paris commitments are not enough to reach the Paris goal".

Arnold Schwarzenegger says he wishes he could travel back in time like the cyborg he played in "The Terminator" so he could stop fossil fuels from being used.

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.

Separately, negotiators will discuss ramping up countries' national emissions targets after 2020, and financial support for poor nations that are struggling to adapt to climate change.

Brazil's strongman president-elect Jair Bolsonaro, for one, has promised to follow the American lead during his campaign.

Attenborough issued a plea for action on behalf of humanity: "If we don't take action the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon".

"Developed nations led by the United States will want to ignore their historic responsibilities and will say the world has changed", said Meena Ramam, from the Third World Network advocacy group.

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