Leaders gather for key United Nations climate talks in Poland

Tackling climate change could save millions of lives, report says

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Envoys from nearly 200 nations gathered in Poland's southern city of Katowice, a day earlier than originally planned because of the large number of issues that need to be resolved by December 14. The world is working to implement the commitments made under the Paris Agreement but is still far off track from preventing catastrophic levels of warming.

The Paris deal saw nations agree to limit global temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) and under 1.5C if possible. "Since 2012, we have been waiting for a national plan for the climate which implies a strategy, in the short and long term".

"The good news is that we do know a lot of what we need to be able to do to get there", said David Waskow of the World Resources Institute. "But this ambition also needs to be realised at the Belgian level".

In a rare intervention, presidents of previous United Nations climate summits issued a joint statement as the talks got under way, calling on states to take "decisive action.to tackle these urgent threats".

But the human-led impact of climate change is already being observed around the world - from extreme weather to devastating fires. "We require deep transformations of our economies and societies".

To maximize the chances of success, technical talks began on Sunday, a day earlier than planned, with delegates from almost 200 nations haggling over how to implement the broad promises of the Paris deal on moving away from fossil fuel.

The Trump administration's withdrawal from the Paris agreement - though not yet in effect - has left a leadership void that others are scrambling to fill and expanded the opportunity for China to shape global policy.

"As a outcome, access to water, food, the conditions for stability, peace and prosperity are more than ever under threat; and if the emissions gap is not closed by 2030, it is extremely unlikely that the 2°C temperature goal, let alone the 1.5°C, can still be reached", they warned.

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.

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He later told reporters that realities of global climate changes are "worse than expected, but the political will is relatively faded after Paris" and is not matching the current challenges.

And he added: "The world's people have spoken, their message is clear, time is running out, they want you, the decision-makers, to act now".

Brazil's strongman president-elect Jair Bolsonaro, for one, has promised to follow the American lead during his campaign. "For many people, regions, even countries, this is already a matter of life or death".

"We have no time for limitless negotiations..."

If the world is to truly prevent climate change-and the extreme weather disasters and rising seas that accompanies it-the attendees of the United Nations climate conference will have to disagree with Duda.

"We need serious solutions from serious leaders, not unsafe schemes and political tricks aimed to keep big polluters polluting", she said.

Last week, 20 leaders responsible for 85 percent of the world's economy and two-thirds of the population gathered at the G-20 Summit in Buenos Aires.

"I can assure you all that this is the real me".

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