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UN climate summit opens in Bonn: 5 things to know

UN climate summit opens in Bonn: 5 things to know
From CBC - November 6, 2017

Diplomats and activists have gathered in Germany for two-week talks on implementing the Paris agreement to fight climate change.

The 23rd conference of the parties, or COP23, was opened Monday by Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe 'Frank' Bainimarama. The Pacific island nation is already suffering the impacts of global warming.

Negotiators will focus on thrashing out some of the technical details of the 2015 Paris accord, which aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The two-week meetingis the first major conference on climate change since President Donald Trump said that the U.S. will pull out of the Paris accord unless his administration can secure a better deal. Other nations are vowing to press ahead with the accord.

Who's coming, what are the key debates about and how green will this meeting be? Five things to know about the UN conference known as COP23, which runs from Nov. 6-17.

Who's coming to Bonn?

Up to 25,000 people are expected to attend the talks, which will be presided over by Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama of Fijithe first time that a small island nation will be at the helm of a major international climate conference. Participants will include diplomats from 195 nations, as well as scientists, lobbyists and environmentalists.

The United States, which has announced its intention to pull out of the landmark Paris climate accord, will be represented by Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon.

Key countries to watch during the talks are the emerging economic powers China and India. Other nationsEstonia, Peru, Ecuador, Iran, Mali, Ethiopia and the Maldiveswill also be in the spotlight for leading major international groupings.

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders are expected to fly to Bonn toward the end of the summit to give the talks a final push and signal their commitment to fighting climate change.

What are the big climate change topics now?

The 2015 Paris accord set a target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit)or 2 degrees at the mostby the end of the century.

But diplomats did not agree on the details of how their nations will reach that ambitious goal. The Bonn talks will flesh out the rule book that countries have to abide by.

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