>> How will the world be in a dozen years, asked these protestors. A question for the UN climate change talks opening here in Poland, Sunday. The most critical since the landmark 2015 Paris deal to steer countries away from fossil fuels.>> During the next two weeks->> Expectations are low that the meeting in Katowice, the heart of Poland's coal belt, will tackle the severity of rising greenhouse gas emissions.
Divisions threaten to undermine it. The United States again stated its intention this weekend to pull out of the Paris deal and to use all energy sources, not just the cleaner ones. Brazil has now backed out of a promise to host the next climate summit. Protestors in Belgium telling the government to clean up their act before it's too late.
Delegates in Kataviza hope to come up with a rulebook on how to limit the rising global temperatures to no more than two degrees Celsius, which could avert more extreme weather, rising sea levels, and the loss of plant and animal species. A three to five degree rise is now likely, according to a stark warning last week.
Under pressure to deliver results, the talks have started a day early. Poland itself is hooked on coal, which provides about 80% of its power. It announced plans to open a new coal mine just last week. The Paris pact was 20 years in the making, and commits countries to fighting global warming.
Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw last year, but the United States will have a seat at the table until it can formally quit in November 2020 at the earliest. It plans to promote fossil and nuclear fuel at the talks, a strategy it has used before, to the outrage of activists.