Friday, 14 December, 2018

'Climate crisis could collapse civilisation' - David Attenborough issues stark warning

Nations must triple efforts to achieve Paris climate goals: Study World urged to tackle 'urgent threats' as UN climate talks begin
Frank Williams | 05 December, 2018, 23:49

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

COP24 comes on the heels of the G-20 gathering in Argentina, where 19 of the 20 leaders signed a communique reaffirming their commitment to fight global warming, but President Donald Trump insisted on a paragraph outlining his opposition and the U.S. decision, under his administration, to withdraw from the 2015 Paris agreement.

The agreement aims to bolster the response to combating climate change by setting a goal to keep global temperature rise well below the 2 degrees Celsius and actively seeking ways to keep the increase below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

"These talks have been embroiled with blame game and had largely shifted away from the main goal of the convention and the Paris Agreement, which is people and planet", Singh said in an interview.

He said trillions of dollars in climate finance was, therefore, needed to cover the costs of adapting to climate change impacts, coping with loss and damage and pursuing clean development pathways to avoid emissions.

Climate change was an important topic on this year's agenda, which comes on the heels of an ominous climate report by the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization's announcement that the average global temperature for 2018 will likely be the fourth highest on record, and 20 of the world's warmest years happened in the last 22 years.

The U.S.is also taking part, despite announcing a year ago that it's pulling out of the Paris accord.

The other members of the group of industrialised nations - including the biggest polluter, China - reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the Paris deal, taking into account their national circumstances.

"Right now we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years, climate change", he told attendees at the 24th Conference of the Parties.

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The Paris climate agreement sets a goal of raising US$100 billion (S$137 billion) every year from 2020 for climate action.

Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton, who is in Poland for the talks, said he fully endorsed UN Secretary-General António Guterres's comments about the need to take action.

Speaking in Katowice to delegations from almost 200 nations, Attenborough warned that the world's existence depends on taking swift action to prevent climate change. He spoke at the climate conference in Katowice, Poland from the people's chair which is supposed to act as a link between the public and policy-makers at the meeting.

"They're supporting you in making tough decisions but they're also willing to make sacrifices in their daily lives".

If the world is to truly prevent climate change-and the extreme weather disasters and rising seas that accompanies it-the attendees of the United Nations climate conference will have to disagree with Duda.

COP24, the UN's annual climate summit, kicked off in Katowice, Poland. Polish President Andrzej Duda said during a news conference later Monday that the coal-rich country would work to reduce its reliance on coal but never entirely give up its "strategic fossil fuel".

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".

These are the people who are the least responsible for climate change but among those most vulnerable to its effects.

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