Australia won't lift 2030 Paris target as minister heads to summit

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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appears on screens when delivering a speech during the opening of COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland, December 3, 2018.

Guterres told a news conference in Katowice, Poland, on Monday that realities about global climate are "worse than expected, but the political will is relatively faded after Paris".

And U.N. General Assembly President Maria Espinosa said at the rate we're seeing today, mankind is "in danger of disappearing".

The Paris agreement vowed to limit global temperature rises to under two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) and to the safer cap of 1.5 C if at all possible.

But with only a single degree Celsius of warming so far, the world has already seen a crescendo of deadly wildfires, heatwaves and hurricanes made more destructive by rising seas. "Words are really not enough when it comes to climate change", said Catherine Gauthier, head of the Montreal-based youth climate advocacy group.

"We achieved success in Paris because negotiators were working toward a common goal", and called for urgent collaboration to "ensure that the bonds of trust established in Paris will endure".

The conference was also being sponsored by Polish state-owned coal company JWS, an agreement that Friends of the Earth International called a "middle finger to the climate".

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Of the 10 countries in the world considered most threatened by climate change, seven are in Africa - Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Sudan.

"We are in trouble, we are in deep trouble with climate change".

One key objective of the summit will be for nations to agree on the "Paris Rulebook" that is aimed at guiding nations to fulfil their promised reductions and to make those cuts more transparent and comparable.

Stating that we "are extremely concerned about the climate crisis" Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama issued a joint statement, together with three other former COP Presidents, last night calling on countries to send an unequivocal message from COP24 in Katowice, Poland, that they are serious about strengthening their commitments to reduce emissions and help build resilience.

G20 leaders on Saturday wrapped up their summit by declaring the Paris Agreement "irreversible".

Governments must protect citizens from the killer effects of climate change, movie tough guy-turned-statesman Arnold Schwarzenegger told AFP, insisting the United States was committed to a greener future despite Donald Trump reneging on the Paris agreement.

Even solid progress on the Paris goals may not be enough to prevent runaway global warming, as a series of major climate reports have outlined.

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As the world's leading climate scientists made clear in a recent special report, we are in the race of our lives against climate change, and we need to move faster.

For 1.5 deg C, they must increase five-fold.

"America is more than just Washington or one leader", he said, adding that he wished he could travel back in time - like the cyborg he portrayed in "The Terminator" - to stop fossil fuels from being used.

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

Residents of the world's smaller islands, many of whom face catastrophic flooding from higher sea levels in a warming world, have been among the world's most vocal backers of measures to combat climate change.

To this end, the bank plans to pursue its advocacy work in helping African countries address climate change and begin their transition towards green growth and low-carbon development.

"We must fight the causes, but also adapt to the consequences that are often most dramatic for the world's poorest people", said World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva, as leaders flagged rising needs at United Nations climate talks in Poland.

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