COP24: Failing to agree climate action would be suicidal,says United Nations chief

COP24: Failing to agree climate action would be suicidal,says United Nations chief

The fight against climate change is a "matter of life and death today", he told ministers and delegates at the 195-nation UN forum tasked with beating back the threat of global warming, barely 48 hours before the meeting in the coal town of Katowice was set to adjourn.

The world of sports must join the effort to tame global warming, and the International Olympic Committee intends to lead the way, it said on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) at United Nations climate talks in Katowice, Poland.

She was referring to a recent scientific report by a United Nations -backed panel that suggested average global warming can only be halted at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) if urgent action is taken by 2030, including a dramatic reduction in use of fossil fuels.

It is also meant to funnel hundreds of billions of dollars to poor countries already feeling the sting of deadly storms, heatwaves and droughts made worse by climate change.

Noting that the deadline to finalise the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) was a target the nations imposed upon themselves at the COP22 in Moroccan city Marrakech in 2016, Guterres said both the Convention and the Paris Agreement recognise that all countries have different realities, capacities and circumstances.

The report is released in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty, adding that decrease in the Carbon dioxide emissions from industry between 75% to 90% is needed in 2050 compared to 2010 levels to limit warming to 1.5°C. "It would not only be immoral, it would be suicidal".

But the overshoot by the end of this century could be less severe than expected thanks to significant efforts by some countries to combat climate change, said the report by Climate Action Tracker (CAT), a consortium of three independent European research groups. On finance, however, the tables are turned.

"Almost 90 percent of the fund's board members ‎are from developing countries", she explained, adding that many developed countries want to be ‎members of the board, and that this is met with opposition from many developing countries who fear ‎this move will hinder their decision making ability.

Even if current promises are fulfilled, Earth would heat up by well over 3C, enough to tug at the fabric of civilisation, say scientists.

Jean-Pascal Ypersele, a former deputy chair of the panel, said whether or not countries believe the conclusions of the report was irrelevant because the science was clear.

To break the stalemate in Katowice, the Polish government took control of the process to find compromise language on key sticking points.

"Returning to Katowice, I see that despite some progress in the negotiating texts much remains to be done", he said in his address at the closing of the high-level segment of the Talanoa Dialogue. "They want us to finish the job", Guterres said.

"Key political issues" deadlocking United Nations climate talks "remain unresolved", said Guterres.

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