Thousands march in Brussels climate change demonstration

Africans expect ‘real action’ on climate change

The aim of the two-week summit is to build on the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord which focused on strengthening the global response to the threat that climate change poses to the planet.

"Right now we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years: climate change", Attenborough told the audience.

"If we don't take action, the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon", he said.

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". Sea levels have already risen more than 8 inches in the last 140 years and extreme weather events are becoming more damaging.

He said that the World Meteorological Organisation has measured the 20 warmest years on record in the past 22 years, with four of these in the past four years.

Over the next two weeks, delegates will try to finalize a plan to limit global warming, but expectations are low. Current levels of global emissions are on course to spur between 3 and 5 degrees Celsius of warming, the United Nations warned.

He explained that while the people of the world have suffered and continue to suffer from the impacts of human-caused global warming, it is the people who have shown they are ready to make the necessary sacrifices and take bold action.

Asked about the recent protests in France, one of which turned into a riot in Paris on Saturday, Rutte said politicians must work to get all of society to back the measures needed to tackle climate change.

As the video ended, Attenborough took up their cry.

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"Even as we witness devastating climate impacts causing havoc across the world, we are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough, to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption, " Guterres told delegates from nearly 200 countries who gathered in the city of Katowice. "Time is running out", Attenborough said.

"Developed nations led by the U.S. will want to ignore their historic responsibilities and will say the world has changed", said Meena Ramam, from the Third World Network advocacy group. "The continuation of civilizations and the natural world upon which we depend is in your hands".

Citing bleak recent reports, including one from the United Nations expert climate panel in October, Guterres noted devastation from hurricanes in Barbuda and Dominica which he called "heart-breaking", but also "preventable".

"Any delay will only make it harder and more expensive to respond to climate change", they warned, in issued the following call to action.

Many countries are already dealing with the droughts, higher seas and catastrophic storms climate change is exacerbating.

Guterres called on representatives to cement funding agreements, allowing the worldwide community to take firm steps towards green solutions, suggesting the world was "nowhere near where it needs to be" on moving to a low-carbon economy.

"In short, we need a complete transformation of our global energy economy, as well as how we manage land and forest resources", Mr Guterres said.

Poorer nations argue that rich countries, which are responsible for the vast majority of historic carbon emissions, must help others to fund climate action.

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