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Time is now to decide planet's future: U.N. climate chief

  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II co-chairman Chris Field (R) speaks with IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri (L) at a press conference after the 10th plenary of the IPCC Working Group II in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo on March 31, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO

PARIS: The world has come to a fork in the road on climate change, the UN's climate chief said Monday after a new expert report warned starkly about the consequences of inaction.

"The path of tomorrow is undoubtedly determined by our choices today," Christiana Figueres said after the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said soaring carbon emissions will amplify the risk of conflict, hunger, floods and mass migration this century.

"This report is a tale of two futures -- one of inaction and degradation of our environment, our economies, and our social fabric," she said in a statement.

"The other, to seize the moment and the opportunities for managing climate change risks" and adopt changes and technologies for healthier, more prosperous societies.

Figueres, who oversees UN negotiations on a new pact for curbing Earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions, called for "a greater, concerted global effort".

"This report requires and requests that everyone accelerate and scale up efforts towards a low carbon world and manage the risks of climate change in order to spare the planet and its people," she said.

The findings, she added, should help governments in their design of the new, global deal due to be signed in Paris next year to enter into force in 2020.

The climax of this year's negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will take place in Lima, Peru, from December 1-12.

 
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