'Time is running out': David Attenborough's dramatic warning on climate change

Mindy Sparks
December 5, 2018

"Mr Attenborough has been leading a campaign to engage ordinary people with the COP24 conference, leading a campaign called #TakeYourSeats, calling on members of the public to submit comments, questions, pictures and videos, as well as a series of global opinion polls curated in to 'the people's address" shown as part of his presentation. "If we don't take action the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of our world is on the horizon".

The 2016 Paris climate talks (COP21) saw nearly 200 nations commit to a variety of national goals created to keep global temperatures "well below" 2°C above pre-industrial levels and try to limit to them to 1.5°C.

AFP's reporting reflects its acceptance of manmade climate change as a fact and the dangers imminent to the planet and its survival, stating in its report that the conference comes "at a crucial juncture" in the "battle to rein in the effects of our heating planet".

The United States - at first a key player in climate change talks - withdrew from the Paris agreement earlier this year, and will officially leave in 2020.

Every signee has a different role to play, and the nitty-gritty of how they will work to keep global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial levels is the source of conversation at the COP24 climate talks, which just kicked off in Katowice, Poland, and will go on until December 14.

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.

"While the data are clear, a global political consensus over how to tackle climate change remains elusive", AFP reported.

Delegates said that one of the trickiest issues could be monitoring emissions as the U.S., which cannot quit the pact until 2020, uses the talks to press for a level of detail it perceives as useful to its foreign policy dealings.

"In short, we need a complete transformation of our global energy economy", said Antonio Guterres.

Guterres also urged negotiators not to forget that the challenges they face pale in comparison to the difficulties climate change is already causing millions around the world whose homes and livelihoods are at risk from rising sea levels, drought and more powerful storms. Our greatest threat in thousands of years.

Yet expectations for Katowice are low. But Poland's President Andrzej Duda told a later news conference that the coal-rich country will never entirely give up its "strategic fossil fuel".

Riots in Paris at the weekend, partly in protest at fuel taxes, also illustrate the conundrum: how do politicians introduce long-term environmental policies without inflicting costs on voters that may damage their chances of re-election?

They called for ambitious decisions which are sufficiently detailed and comprehensive to enable the effective operation of the Paris Agreement, secured three years ago in the French capital to curb global warming. Current levels of global emissions are on course to spur between 3 and 5 degrees Celsius of warming, the United Nations warned.

Officials from almost 200 countries now have two weeks to finalize how those goals work in practice, even as science suggests the pace of climate change is rapidly outstripping mankind's response.

"The world's people have spoken", he said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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