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Poland Climate Summit Wrapping Up as More Action Urged

Amidst some discord, world leaders in Poland for the COP24 U.N. climate summit are fine tuning steps to curb the wide-reaching devastation of global warming.

Nearly 200 countries are attending the 12-day climate talks in Katowice, where they are finalizing regulations arising from the 2015 Paris accord. On Tuesday, U.N. climate chief Patricia Espinosa encouraged delegates to work in a “spirit of unity,” the Associated Press reported.

Just one day earlier, the U.S. received faint support for an event promoting greenhouse-gas-causing fossil fuels, the Guardian reported. Only Australia showed support, while several dozen environmental activists chanted “Shame on you,” and “Keep it in the ground,” according to the Guardian.

Countries attending the talks are being encouraged to take on a more vigorous approach to decreasing ozone-depleting emissions. Developing countries, meanwhile, are looking for financial assistance in tackling the issue.

“There are national realities that are different, and national capabilities that are different. And translating this into rules is very hard,” Espinosa said of the talks over the weekend, Politico reported.

Hoesung Lee, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, told attendees that “urgent action is needed” to tackle global warming, the AP reported. “We are moving in the right direction in many areas, but we need to do more and faster.”

Several foreign activists have denounced Poland’s Border Guard for detaining or deporting them since the start of the conference, according to the AP. Maria Kolesnikova, an activist who came to the summit from Kyrgyzstan said these actions took away the “opportunity to voice my concerns.”

The talks conclude Dec. 14.

Meanwhile, Germany announced Tuesday it is hesitant to host the 2019 U.N. climate panels. Deputy environment minister Jochen Flasbarth told reporters Berlin would not be able to host “an event on the scale of last year.”