You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Campaigners target coal at UN climate summit

AFP  |  Katowice (Poland) 

Campaign groups representing citizens from across the world demanded Tuesday that big leaves in the ground as COP24 host pushed for protections allowing it to continue burning

With nations locked in UN climate talks aimed at heading off runaway global warming, many parts of the world are already dealing with the storms, floods, fires and droughts our heating planet will suffer.

Man-made emissions have increased annually since the landmark 2015 climate accord was struck and with political progress slowing, people who will bear the biggest burden issued their clearest plea to date: end fossil now.

"The urgency of the climate crisis is very real on the ground because our people are suffering the different impacts of extreme weather," said Lidy Nacpil, of the

"Crops will be destroyed not just by flooding and rain but also by droughts. Yet this urgency is not reflected in the actions of governments," she told AFP.

The People's Demands initiative has been signed by nearly 300,000 people from over 120 nations.

It calls on richer states -- who are responsible for most -- to honour their promises to help fund at-risk countries to adapt to climate change, and developed economies to be fully green by 2030.

They also want a ban on fracking and an immediate, worldwide moratorium on new exploration and extraction.

The UN's independent panel of climate experts in October issued its starkest findings yet: emissions from fossil must be slashed by half within 12 years in order to hit the goals of limited temperature rises.

But most Western economies remain heavily dependent on fossil

Poland, which gets roughly 80 per cent of its from coal, this week called for nations to weave measures into the UN climate framework that critics fear would allow it to keep polluting for decades.

used his address at the COP opening Monday to say Poland's dependence on "does not clash with climate protection and progress achieved in this vein".

Duda reinforced his message on Tuesday with a speech to miners in the southern town of Brzeszcze, where he said he would not allow "anyone to murder Polish mining".

He said while was hosting the climate summit "we're also there to speak the truth without taking into account political correctness, which is often driven by foreign interests and not Polish ones".

and other fossil-fuel reliant economies say they need a gradual and "just transition" towards renewables that protects miners and national security.

UN told officials at negotiations Tuesday that "the dialogue with industries is sometimes difficult and complex".

"But we believe that even in the oil and gas industry, there is a growing conscience that the present trend is not sustainable." - 'Detached from reality' -

committed countries to limiting temperature rises to well below two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) and to the safer cap of 1.5C if possible.

But a UN body warned last month that the gap between and levels needed to hit the Paris targets was bigger than ever before.

Air pollution alone is now estimated to kill as many as nine million people every year.

"More and more communities are understanding the need to transform our systems and their immediate reason is they can see how damaging plants or are," said Nacpil.

"It's becoming a popular cry that there has to be a swift transition away from these kinds of energy." Groups representing big energy are present at COP negotiations and environmentalists fear they may embolden nations to stick by old coal.

Jesse Bragg, of the Corporate Accountability group, told AFP influence at UN climate talks had "succeeded in making what goes on in those rooms very, very detached and different from the needs of the world.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, December 05 2018. 04:40 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU