Brussels — With the direst warnings yet of impending environmental disaster ringing in their ears, representatives of nearly 200 nations gathered in Poland on Sunday to firm up their plan to avert catastrophic climate change. The UN climate summit comes at a crucial juncture in humankind’s response to planetary warming. The smaller, poorer nations that will bear its devastating brunt are pushing for richer states to make good on the promises they made in the 2015 Paris agreement. In Paris three years ago, countries committed to limit global temperature rises to well below 2°C, and to the safer cap of 1.5°C if at all possible. But with only a single degree Celsius of warming so far, the world has already seen a crescendo of deadly wildfires, heatwaves and hurricanes made more destructive by rising seas. In a rare intervention, presidents of previous UN climate summits issued a joint statement as the talks got under way in the Polish mining city of Katowice, calling on states to take ...

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