Leaders return to Poland for final push at UN climate talks


KATOWICE, Poland (AP) — The world needs to “do more and faster” to prevent global warming on a scale that would cause irreversible environmental damage and hit poor societies hard, the head of the U.N.’s top science panel on climate change said Tuesday.

Hoesung Lee, who chairs the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, told diplomats at the U.N. climate summit in Poland that scientists had conducted an exhaustive review of data for their recent special report on keeping average global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit).

“The report shows that not just action, but urgent action is needed,” Lee said.

His comments came as ministers and some national leaders gathered in Katowice for the final stretch of the two-week talks.

“Many issues still must be overcome. But I believe it’s within our grasp to finish the job,” said U.N. climate chief Patricia Espinosa.

Man Who Self-Immolated Outside Trump Trial Dies, Bizarre Manifesto Found Posted Online

Ministers are meant to bridge the remaining division between countries by Friday. One of the main aims of the meeting is for officials to finalize the rules of the 2015 Paris accord, including details such as how countries will record and report their emissions.

The talks are also meant to push countries to commit to more ambitious targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Poor countries, meanwhile, want assurances on financial support to tackle climate change.

While the pace of international negotiations on climate change has been slow, scientists say there is not much time left to ensure the 1.5 C threshold isn’t crossed this century.

The IPCC report found that emissions of greenhouses gases such as carbon dioxide — produced through burning of fossil fuels — need to drop significantly by 2030 and reach near-zero by the middle of the century if the 2015 Paris accord’s most ambitious goal is to be achieved.

“We are moving in the right direction in many areas, but we need to do more and faster,” said Lee.

“Doing more now reduces reliance on unproven and risky techniques to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” he said. “Doing less now would commit people today to the known risks of overshooting 1.5 C, with severe risks of irreversible loss of ecosystems and shocks to the basic needs of the most fragile human societies.”

Ministers from dozens of countries took the floor Tuesday to speak in favor of more ambitious action. Protocol meant the United States isn’t due to take the floor until later in the week, as it only sent a lower ranking official to the talks. The Trump administration has announced it’s quitting the Paris accord but remains technically in until 2020.

American diplomats participated in a side event where countries exchanged their experiences of tackling climate change.

At Least 20 Dead After River Ferry Sinks: 'It's a Horrible Day'

“What we’ve been really excited about is small, modular (nuclear) reactors,” said Judith G. Garber, a senior U.S. State Department official.

She said small-scale coal-fired power plants could also be used to produce cleaner energy.

At the main meeting, the IPCC’s chairman said scientists consider the building of new coal-fired plants to be an environmental and economic risk.

“Building coal and other fossil fuel power stations now commits governments to using that infrastructure for decades, running counter to our collective ambition,” Lee said. “Or it risks wasting that investment by creating stranded assets.”


Associated Press write rMonika Scislowska contributed to this report.


Read more stories on climate issues by The Associated Press at

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City