COP24 climate conference: World facing 'greatest threat in thousands of years'
Tensions are running high as the world's representatives hash out a "rulebook" to help ensure the viability of humanity.
A US-led discussion to "showcase ways to use fossil fuels as cleanly and efficiently as possible" was temporarily halted by a group of protestors shouting "shame on you!" and "keep it in the ground!" -- a reference to fossil fuels that they say should be left unearthed.
US refuses to "welcome" major climate report
Over the weekend, the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait stood in the way of a statement to "welcome" the dire assessment of climate science from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Our live coverage of COP24 has ended for the day. Scroll through the posts below to see the highlights of the conference so far.
None of the countries evaluated by a new report are doing enough to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
The Climate Change Performance Index 2019, published by NGOs Germanwatch, the NewClimate Institute, and the Climate Action Network, compares the climate performance of 56 countries and the EU, which are together responsible for more than 90 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
It ranks countries by determining their performance in four categories: GHG emissions, renewable energy, energy use and climate policy.
In this year's index, no country performed well enough to reach the “very high” ranking – that is, doing enough to keep temperatures within 1.5°C of pre-industrial levels.
Sweden was the highest-ranked country, followed by Morocco and Lithuania.
Medium-performing countries include France, Mexico, Germany and the Czech Republic.
The bottom five are Saudi Arabia, the United States, Iran, South Korea and Taiwan.
Speaking at COP24 today, Niklas Höhne of the NewClimate Institute said:
"Now is the time to raise ambition for all of these countries and we hope that next year we (will) see more countries moving up the ladder."
A group of 415 global investors managing assets worth $32 trillion have called on governments to take serious steps to cut emissions.
The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change issued a statement today warning of an "ambition gap" between steps governments have promised to take, and the actions needed to limit global warming.
The statement has been endorsed by financial heavyweights including HSBC, Nomura Asset Management and UBS Asset Management.
The group urged governments to phase out thermal coal power and fossil fuel subsidies, and set a price for carbon emissions.
"Much more needs to be done by governments to accelerate the low carbon transition and to improve the resilience of our economy, society and the financial system to climate risks," the group said in a statement.
Dozens of protestors interrupted a US event aimed at promoting coal and other fossil fuels at COP24 today.
Chanting "Keep it in the ground!" and "Shame on you!" the activists called for an end to the fossil fuel era.
Speaking from the podium, Trump administration energy adviser Preston Wells Griffith said: "All energy sources are important. And they will be utilized unapologetically."
CNN's Gul Tuysuz posted from the event:
Luxury fashion houses, retailers and suppliers have signed a fashion industry charter for climate action, committing to reduce their aggregate greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.
The new charter formally launched at COP24 today with support from 40 signatories including Stella McCartney, Burberry, Adidas and H&M Group.
The companies involved have agreed to prioritize low-carbon transportation suppliers and favor climate-friendly materials.
In response to the US refusing to “welcome” a major climate change report, Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy with the Union of Concerned Scientists, an independent advocacy group, told a press conference at COP24:
"It’s a sad day indeed when the US says it can’t endorse the findings of this major scientific report.”
“The IPCC special report is a wake-up call from the world’s scientists that must be heeded.
“Ministers arriving in Katowice today must emphatically reject the efforts of the US, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Russia to downplay the report’s findings and they must acknowledge the need to dramatically scale-up mitigation activities as well as to provide support for developing country action including strategies to deal with the ever-mounting impacts of climate change.”
To avoid a climate catastrophe, people will have to drastically shift their diets from resource-intensive foods such as beef, according to a report by the World Resources Institute, released last week at COP24.
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh took a trip to Texas, beef capital of the US, to look into the environmental impact of beef, and how human consumption needs to change to reduce global warming.
Changing a diet isn't easy, but there steps we can take to reduce our beef intake.
From blended meat to bug burgers, these are your beef alternatives.
On Saturday, there was deadlock at COP when the United States, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait objected to a proposal to “welcome” a major climate change report that was released in October.
The report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states there must be substantial efforts before 2030 to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to prevent drastic consequences.
The US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait -- all major fossil fuel producers – said they would “note” the scientific conclusions, rather than welcome them.
It might seem like a small difference, but many countries felt that “welcoming” the report would be an important signal that its findings would be addressed.
A US state department spokesman said:
“The United States was willing to note the report and express appreciation to the scientists who developed it, but not to welcome it, as that would denote endorsement of the report. As we have made clear in the IPCC and other bodies, the United States has not endorsed the findings of the report.”
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports live from COP24: