4 December 2018

Cameroon: Climate Change - Cop24 Discusses Paris Agreement

Photo: COP24
The COP24 climate talks.

The 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is holding in Poland from December 2-14, 2018.

Thousands of representatives from 200 countries will for 12 days during the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP24 holding in the Polish city of Katowice discuss the devastating impact of climate change. The BBC says the conference comes after the release of several reports painting a stark picture of the situation of planet earth. UN Environment last week published Emissions Gap Report for 2018, noting that total annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 hit a record high of 53.5 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. Over the weekend, the World Meteorological Organization, WMO, said the average global temperature for 2018 was set to be the fourth highest on record. "Every fraction of a degree of warming makes a difference to human health and access to food and fresh water, extinction of animals and plants, and to the survival of coral reefs and marine life," said WMO Deputy Secretary General, Elena Manaenkova. The Paris Agreement reached at COP21 in 2015 is up for review in Katowice. It was in Paris, France that world leaders committed to make sure global warming stayed "well below" 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. They also agreed to pursue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. According to the United Nations, this year marks the deadline agreed by signatories of Paris Agreement to adopt a "work programme for the implementation" of the commitments made in 2015. Other decisions reached in Paris include increasing financing for climate action and developing "national climate plans" by 2020. According to the World Meteorological Organisation, the world is now nearly one degree warmer than it was before widespread industrialization. If all the promises to cut emissions made by countries that signed the Paris Climate Agreement are added up, the world would still be warm by more than 3C by the end of this century, experts warn. Moreover, urban areas are particularly under threat as almost 95 per cent of cities facing extreme climate risks are in Africa and Asia, says a risk assessment analyst, Verisk Maplecroft. On the other hand, Arctic sea ice is in danger because the extent of ice has dropped in recent years, reaching its lowest ever point in 201

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