Taking place in Katowice, “the heart of Poland’s coal country,” the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change opened on Sunday, and is where delegates will hammer out a roadmap for implementing the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
Among the environmental groups attending the conference is the U.S.-based Center for Biological Diversity, which declared, “From California to Katowice, it’s way past time to #KeepItInTheGround.” The group is pointing people to “The People’s Demands for Climate Justice,” a list which not only demands no more extraction of fossil fuels but also an honoring of “climate finance obligations to developing countries.”
The activists’ demands for bold action were echoed in a statement (pdf) by the president of the last four COPs. Citing the recent IPCC report on the climate crisis, the say that more ambitious action is needed to keep global warming under the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold of warming. “We require deep transformations of our economies and societies to build a better world for all. This must be powered by multilateral cooperation,” they urged.
The United States, however, was just the only country attending the G20 summit last week not to sign on to a statement declaring support for the Paris Climate Accord—an unsurprising move since President Donald Trump previously announced his plans to ditch the deal.
Meanwhile, an ironic—and worrisome—sign not lost on campaigners is the presence of coal at the Katowice conference. It’s sponsored in part by Polish coal company PGE Group and Polish natural gas giant PGNiG, as advocacy group Corporate Europe Observatory noted.