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A speaker addresses the  COP24 U.N. Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice A speaker addresses the COP24 U.N. Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice 

COP24: Call for climate action as summit nears conclusion

Final negotiations are continuing at the COP24 Climate Conference in Poland where a draft is expected to be presented which includes a rule book to implement the Paris pact.

By Lydia O'Kane

As the COP24 Climate talks draw to a close in Poland, vulnerable nations are warning against, what they call a “mediocre” outcome at the summit. On this the penultimate day of the meeting, the group called the Climate Vulnerable Forum said they were already experiencing the harmful effects of global warming and are pressing for greater unity among rich and poor countries.

Paris rule book

Meanwhile, negotiators from almost 200 countries are making a last-minute effort to resolve differences on the rules that will govern the 2015 Paris climate accord. Speaking from the conference in Katowice, Neil Thorns, Director of Advocacy, at CAFOD, the official aid agency for the Catholic Church in England and Wales, stressed the importance of trust during these negotiations.

“I think with all of these things, there’s been progress made on some things and still more work to be done on others and so, when we came into the second week of the negotiations there was lots of brackets around the text; that means it hasn’t been agreed and so, there’s all sorts of discussions still to be had… I think what’s clear about it is though that at the heart of all this has to be the question about trust and you wonder whether there is enough trust to be able to have the flexibility to compromise, but recognizing that by compromising you’re not trying to lessen the ambition, you’re trying to move forward in a progressive way and it feels like that’s where some of the countries are at the minute.”

Ambition, action, and true solidarity

At a Press Conference on the sidelines of the summit on Wednesday the Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Msgr. Bruno-Marie Duffé stressed the Holy See’s call for “ambition, action, and true solidarity”. He also said that, Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ is an encouragement to nations to listen attentively to the cry of the earth.

Neil Thorns noted that, “what you hope, is the fact that people see common sense, that people do see the sense of acting for future generations, but also acting for generations now and I think Msgr. Duffe summed it up very well, he said ‘today is tomorrow you can’t leave these things’, so, actually what we really do need is action now.”

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13 December 2018, 16:35