Polish chairman says UN climate talks call for higher effort

KATOWICE, Poland (AP) — The Polish government official serving as president of a U.N. climate summit said Wednesday the international talks have entered a “critical phase” and require dedication from all involved if they are to end in success.

Deputy Environment Minister Michal Kurtyka said ministers from almost 200 countries are working to “unlock issues which are outstanding and which require political involvement of leaders.”

The conference being held in Katowice runs through Friday. The goal of this year’s annual climate event is working out ways to keep the temperature rise from global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) during this century. The goal was set at 2015 conference in Paris but the implementation details need to be agreed on.

“We are right now working very hard … in order to help us move forward with this critical phase of the negotiation,” Kurtyka told The Associated Press.


U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited the talks Wednesday to urge progress, as some observers warned the meeting could collapse without an agreement on key issues.

“Without Katowice there is no Paris,” Kurtyka said.

He said he is convinced the talks can end in success, but concedes it is “in the hands of the parties,” meaning the countries participating in the negotiations.

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