Only you can save us from climate disaster, Attenborough tells UN
Only you can save us from climate disaster, Attenborough tells UN
World urged to tackle 'urgent threats' as UN climate talks begin
05 December, 2018, 21:44
Delegates arrived in Katowice, Poland, on Sunday for the COP24 United Nations Climate Change Conference which is set to be marked by divisions within Europe and tension between the United States and China.
Ironically, the climate summit is projected to have a large carbon footprint of its own which will directly contribute to the "man-made" climate change they claim is about to bring an end to "our civilizations".
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the COP24 United Nationsclimate conference, in Katowice, Poland, Attenborough called climate change "our greatest threat in thousands of years".
The documentary maker warned it could lead to the collapse of civilisations and the extinction of "much of the natural world".
Attenborough, 92, was representing the people of Earth as holder of the "people's seat" at the conference.
"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 in his opening speech at the summit, dubbed "Paris 2.0" after the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Their message is clear: "Time is running out", Attenborough said Monday. 2018 is the year the countries committed to putting a plan in place for carrying out the agreement, so time is running out.
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.
Guterres called on representatives to cement funding agreements, allowing the worldwide community to take firm steps towards green solutions, suggesting the world was "nowhere near where it needs to be" on moving to a low-carbon economy.
"I think that in the future we will look back and we will either laugh at them or we will hate them", she told The Associated Press.
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. "That's not my expertise".
"The world is at a crossroads and decisive action in the next two years will be crucial to tackle these urgent threats", they said in the joint statement.
But now, the world is less than united in the battle against climate change.
The U.S.is also taking part, despite announcing past year that it's pulling out of the Paris accord. Meanwhile, Brazil's new government is signaling a similar shift away from climate goals.
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.
The "yellow vest" demonstrations, which have grown into riots across France, are motivated by objections to a new tax on gasoline set to go into effect in January.
He said governments should embrace the opportunities rather than cling to fossil fuels such as coal, which are blamed for a significant share of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.
Some environmental advocates are discouraged by the fact that the meeting in Poland is taking place in in a city that is home to the biggest coal company in the European Union, according to the BBC.
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