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

Gwen Vasquez
December 6, 2018

Sir David Attenborough warned it could lead to the collapse of civilisations and the extinction of "much of the natural world".

The delegates of COP24 will have taken Sir Attenborough's words seriously after he called climate change, "our greatest threat in thousands of years".

At his address at the climate talks yesterday, Mr Attenborough said: "The people have spoken: leaders of the world, you must lead, the continuation of our civilisations and the natural world upon which we depend are in your hands".

To finalize the rules for implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement adopted in 2015, around 20,000 people from some 190 countries, including politicians and those representing nongovernmental organizations, the scientific community and business sector, are expected to attend this year's conference in the southern Polish city of Katowice.

The World Bank says it will allocate $200 billion to support countries taking action against climate change between 2021 and 2025, the organization announced on Monday. "Over the next two weeks, we will work with countries all over the world to put together a rulebook to make sure we all fulfil our commitments".

Pope Francis has in the past called for a "revolution" to combat climate change, saying the consensus was clear and "doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain".

The U.N. chief opened the climate summit in Poland with a dire warning to world leaders.

Duda, the Polish leader, said participants at the conference have backed his country's proposal of a "just transition" away from coal mining, which calls for helping people like coal miners who are slated to lose their jobs as the world changes its energy mix.

"Countries must go beyond the bare minimum and take transformative action if we are to achieve the goals set out in the Paris Agreement".

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"In short, we need a complete transformation of our global energy economy, as well as how we manage land and forest resources", said Guterres.

Delegates from almost 200 countries now have two weeks of negotiations to finalise how those goals work in practice, even as science suggests the pace of climate change is rapidly outstripping mankind´s response.

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.

AFP's reporting reflects its acceptance of manmade climate change as a fact and the dangers imminent to the planet and its survival, stating in its report that the conference comes "at a crucial juncture" in the "battle to rein in the effects of our heating planet".

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.

"Or, God forbid, [we] ignore the irrefutable evidence and become the generation that betrayed humanity", Bainimarama said.

Waskow, who has followed climate talks for years, said despite the Trump administration's refusal to back this global effort the momentum is going in the right direction. This implementing framework shows how governments plan on reaching the ambitious goals the agreement sets out - namely, keeping the increase in global average temperatures to well below 2°C.

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.

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