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

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"If we don't take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon", he told the audience.

All is set for the start of the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to begin in the Polish City of Katowice, to officially begin on Monday, December 3.

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.

The report offers the latest accounting of national mitigation efforts and the ambitions countries have presented in their Nationally Determined Contributions, which form the foundation of the Paris Agreement.

Labor's climate spokesman Mark Butler told Parliament on Tuesday that the "world is now facing a climate emergency" that would unfold over coming decades.

Many countries are already dealing with the droughts, higher seas and catastrophic storms climate change is exacerbating.

Most notably, American president Donald Trump has shown a complete disregard of any sustainable climate goals, announcing his intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and implementing policies that favor the fossil fuel industry at the expense of greener tech.

"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.

Duda, the Polish leader, said participants at the conference have backed his country's proposal of a "just transition" away from coal mining, which calls for helping people like coal miners who are slated to lose their jobs as the world changes its energy mix.

"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.

Africans expect "real action" on climate change, said delegates from the African group, as an global climate conference began in the southern Polish city of Katowice on Monday.

In a joint statement, France's Laurent Fabius, Frank Bainimarama from Fiji, Salaheddine Mezouar from Morocco, and Peru's Manuel Pulgar Vidal said: "The challenges are there, as are the solutions". Scientists say the deal's most ambitious goal - limiting the rise to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 C) - is still feasible, but increasingly challenging.

Separately, tens of thousands of people marched on Sunday in Brussels, calling on governments to respect commitments on countering climate change.

Waskow, who has followed climate talks for years, said despite the Trump administration's refusal to back this global effort the momentum is going in the right direction. This is the first major conference since the Paris Climate Summit Treaty of 2015, which is considered a landmark arrangement to address global warming.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama, addresses representatives of nearly 200 nations during a ceremonial opening of the key U.N. climate conference.

The talks in Poland also aim to draw up the rulebook for making the Paris deal operational, and poorer countries will be looking for a boost to the finance being made available to help them develop cleanly.

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