Climate talks kick off in Poland with boost from G-20 summit

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Sir David Attenborough encouraged leaders of the world to take a stand and address the issue of climate change while speaking at the UN Climate Change Conference in Poland.

The delegates of COP24 will have taken Sir Attenborough's words seriously after he called climate change, "our greatest threat in thousands of years".

The conference, which is being held in the heart of coal country, brought together green activists, scientists, government officials, and heads of state.

The talks in Katowice have been billed as the most important United Nations conference since the landmark Paris accord as they precede an end-of-year deadline to agree a "rule book" on how to enforce action to limit global warming to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius.

The opening ceremony could not have been more dramatic as Attenborough warned that climate change is a man-made disaster on a global scale.

Addressing the event, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim highlighted the plight of the world's smallest and financially weak countries in the face of climate change, saying that they will bear the brunt of the impacts from climate change, CNN reported.

Africa is especially vulnerable to climate change as evidenced by the 2017 drought in East Africa and the drought South Africa experienced in 2018.

Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman, vice chair of the Climate Change Commission, said the Philippine delegation would remain "constant and persistent" in its call for scaled-up, adequate and predictable financial support of developed countries to developing nations. "Otherwise they will say, 'We don't want such policy'".

US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal a year ago, stating his opinion that it was "an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries". "Leaders of the world, you must lead".

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"We need a unifying implementation vision that sets out clear rules, inspires action and promotes raised ambition, based on the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in light of different national circumstances".

It said about $50 billion will be earmarked for climate adaptation, a recognition that some adverse effects of global warming can't be avoided anymore but require a change in practice.

At the COP24 climate talks, nations must agree to a rulebook palatable to all 183 states who have ratified the Paris deal.

Katowice has a long history of coal mining, an industry that experts say can't continue for much longer if global goals to cut carbon emissions are to be met.

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.

"This is the challenge on which this generation's leaders will be judged, " Guterres said.

Four former leaders of United Nations talks, including Laurent Fabius of France, who led negotiations for the Paris agreement, issued a statement urging immediate action.

More companies than ever before are taking transformative climate action and the reason is simple: climate change is everyone's business.

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.

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