Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Sci-tech | By Spencer Schmidt

Climate Change Is The 'Most Important Issue We Face — UN Chief

Climate Change Is The 'Most Important Issue We Face — UN Chief

The Poland climate summit arrives only a few weeks after the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change published a special report with an unequivocal message about the urgent changes that need to be made during the next decade in a considerable number of global economy sectors.

Under the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) delegates and negotiations are expected to work hard to develop common guidelines to push countries to immediately cut emissions to achieve the 1.5°C temperature goal by 2020; and to deal with growing climate impacts.

"Even as we witness devastating climate impacts causing havoc across the world, we are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough, to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption", Guterres said.

Almost 200 nations gathered in Poland Monday for the start of the COP24 summit, where they must agree on a universal rulebook to make good on the promises they made in the 2015 Paris climate deal.

"We need serious solutions from serious leaders, not unsafe schemes and political tricks aimed to keep big polluters polluting", she said.

In November, the most comprehensive federal climate assessment to date called climate change 'an immediate threat, not a far-off possibility, ' and detailed how every part of the country will be increasingly harmed as the Earth gets warmer.

Host country Poland is proposing a slow approach to ease the financial blow from move away from fossil fuels.

The Paris deal saw nations agree to limit global temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) and under 1.5C if possible. "We require deep transformations of our economies and societies".

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, emphasized the sense of urgency, saying that climate change was already "a matter of life and death" for many countries.

But Polish President Andrzej Duda later told a news conference the coal-rich country would reduce its reliance on coal but would never entirely give up its "strategic fossil fuel".

But previous year President Trump shocked the global community when he pulled the U.S. out of the agreement, saying he would negotiate a new "fair" deal which would not put American businesses and workers at a disadvantage.

"America is more than just Washington or one leader", he said, adding that he wished he could travel back in time - like the cyborg he portrayed in "The Terminator" - to stop fossil fuels from being used.

"I recently received government approval to develop an all-of-government plan to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change".

"We encourage all Parties at COP24 to finalise the key details that will enable full implementation of the Paris Agreement", said Justin Perrettson, Head of Global Engagements at Novozymes and Chair of ICC's Commission on Environment and Energy.

"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.

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

At COP24, a video of these messages from citizens all around the world was played, describing their experiences and fears about climate change, and demanding world leaders take action to address the threat.

Attenborough, who has produced and narrated numerous nature documentaries, is a strong advocate for fighting climate change - but that wasn't always the case.

Like this: