Leaders gather for key United Nations climate talks in Poland

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Despite the protests, President Macron then announced further taxes on fuel, set to take effect on January 1, 2019, in a move he said was necessary combat climate change and protect the environment, leading to the so-called yellow vest protest movement, which takes its name from the high-visibility jackets participants have adopted as a symbol of their complaint.

Signatories to that agreement pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions and limit the rise in global temperatures to less than two degrees Celsius by 2030.

Negotiators are also expected to put forth plans to help developing nations adapt to a warming climate. "It is incumbent on the worldwide community to ensure that justice is done".

The cardinal also said that the Vatican believes that a number of points should be included in the core of the Paris Agreement Work Programme, including encouraging "developed countries to take the lead", advancing "sustainable consumption and production patterns", and providing "a follow-up and commitment review process in a transparent, efficient and dynamic manner".

Not a single G20 nation sent a top-level representative to the COP on Monday.

Guterres also called on negotiators not to lose sight of the fact that the challenges they face pale in comparison to the difficulties already caused by climate change to millions of people around the world seeing their livelihoods at risk from rising sea levels, drought and more powerful storms.

"This year is likely to be one of the four hottest years on record".

In October a team of more than 90 independent scientists said mankind must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by half within the next 12 years to avoid heat rises that could tear at the fabric of society.

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United Nations chief Antonio Guterres.

"Even as we witness devastating climate impacts causing havoc across the world, we are still not doing enough nor moving fast enough to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption", he added.

Nations more immediately threatened by climate change, including Fiji, are urging for nations to act now.

Not far from the COP24 venue in Katowice, Polish anti-coal campaigners held their own, smaller protest on Sunday.

Proceedings were injected with a shot of glamour as former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and veteran wildlife documentary maker Sir David Attenborough both addressed delegates.

"And if you do that, I promise you: I'll be back", he said in another reference to "The Terminator".

"If a measure that we have taken, which is costing the public money, turns out not to be working, if it's not going well, we're not stupid - we would change it", Griveaux said.

"We know what we can do, and what we have to do becomes an ethical imperative", Parolin said, in what could be interpreted as a call to the faithful to divest themselves of ownership of equity in the fossil fuel industry.

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