Participants attend the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland, Dec. 3, 2018. Delegates from nearly 200 countries began talks on Sunday on urgent actions to curb climate change three years after the landmark Paris Climate Change Agreement set a goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. The two-week UN Climate Change Conference, known as COP24, is held in the southern Polish city of Katowice. (Xinhua/Jaap Arriens)
KATOWICE, Poland, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Delegates from nearly 200 countries began talks on Sunday on urgent actions to curb climate change three years after the landmark Paris Climate Change Agreement set a goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
The two-week UN Climate Change Conference, known as COP24, held in the southern Polish city of Katowice, aims to finalize the implementation guidelines and provide clarity on how to carry out the Paris deal fairly for all participating countries.
Six months after the 2015 Paris summit, the negotiations on the implementation guidelines were launched and COP24 was set as the deadline.
"We are here to enable the world to act together on climate change," said Poland's environmental envoy Michal Kurtyka, who is presiding over the UN meeting.
"The United Nations secretary-general is counting on us, all of us to deliver," Kurtyka said, urging all countries to "show creativity and flexibility."
The to-be-finalized implementation guidelines are expected to unleash practical climate actions with respect to all the targets and goals of the Paris agreement, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing financial and other support to developing countries.
While governments are committed to finalizing the guidelines, a great deal of work still remains to be completed in Katowice.
The UN conference is being held following a cascade of UN and other reports on increasing impact of greenhouse gas concentrations and emissions.
"All of these findings confirm the need to maintain the strongest commitment to the Paris Agreement's aims of limiting global warming to well below 2ºC and pursuing efforts towards 1.5ºC," said Patricia Espinosa, the UN climate chief.
"Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are at record levels and emissions continue to rise. Climate change impacts have never been worse," she said, "This reality is telling us that we need to do much more -COP24 needs to make that happen."
Apart from COP24, the climate talks in Katowice also include Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol and the Conference of Signatories to the Paris Agreement. About 20,000 people will take part, including politicians, representatives of non-governmental organizations, scientific community and business sector.