Only you can save us from climate disaster, Attenborough tells UN

Only you can save us from climate disaster, Attenborough tells UN

Only you can save us from climate disaster, Attenborough tells UN

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.

And there needs to be progress on the goal of mobilising $100bn (€88bn) a year for poorer countries to drive clean growth, they urged.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has issued an appeal to world leaders to do more to tackle climate change. "There is no Plan B".

He said that the World Meteorological Organisation has measured the 20 warmest years on record in the past 22 years, with four of these in the past four years.

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

The 92-year-old naturalist addressed the delegates from more than 200 nations in Katowice, as teams work to find ways to ensure implementation of the historic 2016 Paris Climate agreement that seeks to slash global greenhouse emissions from 2020.

President Donald Trump has threatened to pull the USA out of the Paris agreement because of what he says is the economic damage the treaty's provisions would cause.

"Climate change is running faster than we are and we must catch up sooner rather than later before it is too late".

The special report on Global Warming of 1.5 C said "rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings) and industrial systems" would be required to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Michal Kurtyka, Poland's deputy environment minister and president of the talks, said that without success in Katowice, Paris would not be a success, as it had only decided what was needed, not how it could be done.

"Katowice may show us if there will be any domino effect" following the USA withdrawal, said Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation and a main architect of the Paris deal.

The meeting in Katowice is regarded as a key test of countries' willingness to back their lofty but distant goals with concrete measures, some of which are already drawing fierce protests.

Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman, vice chair of the Climate Change Commission, said the Philippine delegation would remain "constant and persistent" in its call for scaled-up, adequate and predictable financial support of developed countries to developing nations. To have any hope of reaching the 1.5 degree Celsius goal by the end of the century, the United Nations said emissions from fossil fuel use must be halved by 2030.

"We need more action and more ambition", Guterres said.

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.

"Now I do not have any doubt at all", Attenborough said two years after that lecture.

However, US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris accord has dented trust among vulnerable nations, who fear there is not enough cash available to help them adapt to our heating planet.

But the human-led impact of climate change is already being observed around the world - from extreme weather to devastating fires.

The goal of the conference is to come up with a "rulebook" to enforce the Paris agreement, even as some recent reports claim that the agreement does not go far enough, according to AFP.

German officials had hoped to present a blueprint for the country's exit from coal at the meeting in Katowice, but an expert committee delayed issuing its recommendations until next year.

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