'Time is running out': David Attenborough's dramatic warning on climate change

Africans expect ‘real action’ on climate change

Veteran naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough warned that climate change will cause civilizational collapse if world leaders fail to set the global community on a low-emission path.

Attenborough, known worldwide for his uniquely passionate nature documentary narrations, was invited to the COP24 United Nations climate conference in the city of Katowice as a representative of the people of the world, many of who sent in messages that Attenborough reportedly used to inform his speech.

Attenborough, known for hosting nature broadcasts including the popular BBC series "Planet Earth", was chosen for the UN's "people's seat", representing those populations most affected by climate change.

Attenborough's address drew on messages from people all over the world, conveying a sense of frustration over apparent global inertia toward the looming disaster of climate change. Their message is clear: "Time is running out", Attenborough said Monday. "Time is running out", he said.

The UN chief asked decision makers to focus on four key things: stepping up climate action, according to a solid plan, with more funding, as a smart investment in future of the planet.

"Leaders of the world you must lead", he added.

"The continuation of our civilisations and the natural world upon which we depend, is in your hands", he said.

COP24 comes on the heels of the G-20 gathering in Argentina, where 19 of the 20 leaders signed a communique reaffirming their commitment to fight global warming, but President Donald Trump insisted on a paragraph outlining his opposition and the USA decision, under his administration, to withdraw from the 2015 Paris agreement.

At a similar summit three years ago, the Paris Agreement was drafted and signed, aiming to limit man-made global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Asia markets rise after USA and China agree to trade truce
And Beijing agreed to reconsider a takeover by USA chipmaker Qualcomm that it had previously blocked. An escalating trade war between the world's two largest economies has weighed on markets generally.

Every signee has a different role to play, and the nitty-gritty of how they will work to keep global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial levels is the source of conversation at the COP24 climate talks, which just kicked off in Katowice, Poland, and will go on until December 14.

Valerie Masson-Delmotte, a French climate scientist, said 90 authors spent more than 1 ½ years assessing about 6,000 peer-reviewed publications for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's recent special report on the 1.5 C-target.

"It is sad that the federal administration of the United States, a country that is increasingly feeling the full force of climate impacts, continues to refuse to listen to the objective voice of science when it comes to climate change", Figures said.

The IPCC was invited by the UNFCCC to create the report in 2015 when the worldwide community reached the Paris accord.

A string of major climate reports have cast doubt over the entire process to avert runaway global warming, suggesting the Paris goals fall well short of what is needed.

UN General Assembly president Maria Espinosa told AFP that mankind was "in danger of disappearing" if climate change was allowed to progress at its current rate.

Patti Lynn, executive director of the Corporate Accountability campaign group, called for nations to agree to the global greenhouse gas drawdown upon which the fate of the Paris agreement now rests. Greta Thunberg said world leaders who skip the climate summit are "very irresponsible".

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.

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