Published: Wed, December 05, 2018
Science | By

Climate change a man-made disaster on global scale, warns Attenborough

Climate change a man-made disaster on global scale, warns Attenborough

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.

To ease some of those worries, the World Bank on Monday announced $200 billion (175 billion euros) in climate action investment for 2021-25 - a major shot in the arm for green initiatives but one which needs bolstering by state-provided funding.

David Attenborough, the famed naturalist and conservation advocate, issued a dire warning for the world during a speech at the United Nations' annual climate summit on Monday: Act now, or the natural world, humanity included, may soon collapse.

"Right now we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years: Climate change", Attenborough said as the worldwide climate conference got underway with talks on how countries will implement the 2015 Paris Agreement limiting carbon emissions.

"It is hard to overstate the urgency of our situation", UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

It is aimed at fleshing out the promises agreed in the 2015 Paris climate accord through which nations agreed...

The Paris deal saw nations agree to limit global temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius and under 1.5C if possible.

But Polish President Andrzej Duda later told a news conference the coal-rich country would reduce its reliance on coal but would never entirely give up its "strategic fossil fuel".

"We have a collective responsibility to invest in averting global climate chaos", he said.

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.

How are you adapting for climate change?

What are you doing to save our planet?

The remark was directed at host Poland, which relies on coal for 80 per cent of its energy. Guterres called climate change "the most important issue we face".

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.

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".

Mr Guterres called for a "huge increase in ambitions" during the negotiations in Poland, adding, "We can not afford to fail in Katowice".

He also told delegates, "America is more than just Washington or one leader".

Calling Trump "meshugge", Yiddish for "crazy", for deciding to withdraw from the Paris accord, Schwarzenegger insisted that the climate deal has widespread support at local and state levels in the US.

"Leaders of the world, you must lead", said the naturalist, given a "People's seat" at the two-week United Nations climate conference in the Polish coal city of Katowice alongside two dozen heads of state and government.

According to Guterres, climate change is already a matter of life and death for many people, nations and countries of the world, as the science is telling us we need to move faster.

Guterres pleaded with countries to reduce their emissions from 2010 by 45 per cent by 2030 and to set a goal to release a net zero emissions by 2050, recalling consequences laid out in the 700-page report written by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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