Friday, November 24, 2017

The Latest: Merkel calls for all to fight climate change

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BONN, Germany (AP) — The Latest on the global climate change conference in Bonn, Germany (all times local):

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3:50 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says every country needs to pitch in to keep global temperatures from rising.

Merkel said in her weekly podcast on Saturday that climate change was an urgent problem, and that every country has to help limit global warming to below "2 or, even better, 1.5 degrees Celsius" — the target set by the 2015 Paris climate accord by the end of the century.

Diplomats from around the world are meeting in the German city of Bonn to discuss implementing the Paris accord.

Merkel also said it's the responsibility of the industrial countries to develop environment-friendly technologies that are future-oriented, but "don't lead to a loss of jobs."

She said: "We don't gain anything if steel mills, aluminum plants and copper mills leave our countries and go somewhere else where environmental regulations are less strict — because then we haven't made any gains for world climate."

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2:50 p.m.

Pope Francis is blasting "shortsighted human activity" for global warming and rising sea levels and is urging leaders at climate talks in Germany to take a global outlook as they negotiate ways to curb heat-trapping emissions.

Francis met Saturday with a delegation of leaders from the Pacific islands and told them he shares their concerns about rising sea levels and increasingly intense storms that are threatening their small islands.

He decried in particular the state of oceans, where overfishing and pollution by plastics are threatening fish stocks and sea life that are critical to Pacific livelihoods.

He said several causes were to blame, but that "sadly, many of them are due to shortsighted human activity connected with certain ways of exploiting natural and human resources, the impact of which ultimately reaches the ocean bed itself."

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12:30 p.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown of California is part of a group of American cities, states, business and universities vowing to fight climate change despite the Trump administration's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord.

Speaking Saturday at a climate conference in Bonn, Germany, Brown says "we have a federal system, and states have real power as do cities. And when cities and states combine together, and then join with powerful corporations, that's how we get stuff done."

The group calling itself "America's Pledge" said states, cities and private groups have been taking considerable steps to reduce emissions by promoting renewable energy use and climate-friendly transportation systems.

Brown said "we are doing real stuff in California."

His speech was briefly interrupted by anti-coal and anti-fracking protesters, who held up banners and shouted "We're still in! Trump's still out!"

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11 a.m.

A group of U.S. states, cities, businesses and universities said Saturday they are still committed to curbing global warming even as U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is walking away from the Paris climate accord.

But the alliance, which has an economy larger than Japan and Germany combined, says it won't be able to achieve the necessary cut in greenhouse gas emissions without some efforts at the federal level.

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg told a global climate meeting in Bonn, Germany that "the American government may have pulled out of the Paris agreement, but the American people are committed to its goals, and there is nothing Washington can do to stop us."

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Jordans reported from Berlin. Kirsten Grieshaber contributed from Berlin.

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