Thousands march in Brussels climate change demonstration

Ismael LynchDec 06, 2018

Per BBC, the beloved British naturalist used his time at the podium to issue a dire warning to humanity regarding climate change: "If we don't take action, the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon".

The aim of the two-week summit is to build on the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord which focused on strengthening the global response to the threat that climate change poses to the planet. "The continuation of civilisations and the natural world upon which we depend is in your hands". "The world's people have spoken", he said.

While the United States is withdrawing from the climate pact, the State Department said it is sending a delegation to the Katowice conference.

"Trudging along the dirty development path trod by richer countries will see developing nations stuck in the past and pollute their environments while ruining efforts to limit global warming", he said.

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

Katowice is at the heart of Poland's coal mining region of Silesia and there are still several active mines in and around the city.

Such cuts, which experts say is the only way to achieve the 1.5-degree goal, would require a radical overhaul of the global economy and a move away from using fossil fuels.

The two-week 24th conference of the parties to the UN Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) marks the deadline for the 197 parties that signed the Convention, to adopt guidelines for the implementation of the historic 2015 Paris Agreement.

After a string of damning environmental reports showing mankind must drastically slash its greenhouse gas emissions to avert runaway global warming, Guterres told delegates "we are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough".

The meeting, which is being held from December 3 to 14, is taking place amidst calls for world leaders to implement norms to curb the rising carbon dioxide levels and maintain temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels.

"A failure to act now risks pushing us beyond a point of no return with catastrophic consequences for life as we know it", said Amjad Abdulla, chief negotiator at the COP24 for the Alliance of Small Island States.

Attenborough's speech comes at a crossroad for global climate action.

Ministers and some heads of government are joining in Monday, when host Poland will push for a joint declaration to ensure a "just transition" for fossil fuel industries like coal producers who are facing closures as part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"We are in trouble, we are in deep trouble with climate change".

The UN chief asked decision makers to focus on four key things: stepping up climate action, according to a solid plan, with more funding, as a smart investment in future of the planet.

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.

Representatives of some of the most powerful countries and biggest polluters were conspicuous by their absence, and the United States is quitting the UN climate process.

Without naming specific countries, Guterres chided the nations most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions for failing to do enough to meet the goals set in Paris.

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