The UN’s Climate Change Conference is Meeting…in Poland’s Coal Country

World leaders are convening for the United Nation’s latest climate conference in Katowice, Poland to discuss the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to lower greenhouse gas emissions globally to limit the worst effects of climate change.

Ironically, this two-week meeting is taking place in the heart of Poland’s coal country. As a fuel source, coal accounts for roughly half of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions worldwide, but the conference center currently dedicated to cutting these emissions is literally decorated with mounds of coal.

Poland is by far the EU’s largest producer of hard coal, and Katowice is known to have terrible air quality due to the area’s strong reliance on burning coal for energy. The country relied on coal for about 80 percent of its electricity in 2015.

Poland has been slowly moving away from coal as part of the EU’s larger mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But in his opening remarks Monday, Polish President Andrzej Duda said coal “does not contradict the protection of the climate and the progress of climate protection.”

If the world is to truly prevent climate change–and the extreme weather disasters and rising seas that accompanies it–the attendees of the UN climate conference will have to disagree with Duda.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report published in October, coal will have to be almost entirely phased out by 2050 to limit the rise in global temperatures above 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Fortune

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Alphabet kicks off a private two-day conference dedicated to health, featuring AI chief Jeff Dean

The conference is a rare opportunity for Alphabet employees to come together from the various teams dabbling in health care, including Google Fit, Nest, Google Brain, Verily and Calico. It's billed as an academic conference.
Health and Science

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Fashion Gets Probed at Sustainability Conference

LONDON — What’s Going On?
That’s what The Centre for Sustainable Fashion is looking to answer with a two-day conference marking its 10-year anniversary at London College of Fashion.
The conference, which began Wednesday, comes on the heels of an inquiry into fast fashion’s impact on the environment that was launched in June by the House of Commons’ environmental audit committee and chaired by Mary Creagh, a member of Parliament, who also opened the two-day event.
“The U.K. buys more clothes than any other European country and every year we dispose of 1.1 million tons of clothes and 80 percent of that goes into the landfill,” she said, pointing out her reason for opening the inquiry.
While waste is the industry’s most visible problem, Creagh also addressed the impact of microbeads, plastic packaging, microfibers in waste water and pollution resulting from production. “Fashion has a history of chasing the cheap needle around the globe and turning a blind eye to environmental degradation,” she said.
The committee is working on finding solutions to these problems, she said, citing the microbeads ban that passed in the U.K. earlier this year and calls for industry players to replace their linear model with a circular one.
Dr. Helen Crowley, head of sustainable sourcing innovation at Kering, provided

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Saudi crown prince proclaims investment conference a success despite boycott

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince trumpeted on Tuesday a conference that has drawn investment deals worth $ 50 billion despite a boycott over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, declaring the event as “great – more people more money”.


Reuters: Business News

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