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FAQ: Annual climate negotiations are about to start. Do they matter?

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Wind turbines off the coast of England.

NPR, November 2023

A major, annual international climate meeting kicks off later this week in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. World leaders are meeting from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12 to discuss the effects of climate change, efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the increasingly pressing question of who will pay for the costs of a hotter planet.

Attendance at the annual negotiations has ballooned and hit an estimated 45,000 people last year. Thousands of climate scientists, mayors, activists, corporate executives and representatives of major oil companies will also fly to the petroleum-dependent host country to attend hundreds of side events.

The meeting comes at the close of the hottest year ever recorded on Earth. Extreme weather is killing people around the world. And while it’s still possible for humans to avoid catastrophic climate change effects — such as mass extinctions and runaway sea level rise by the end of this century — it is only possible if greenhouse gas pollution falls dramatically and immediately, scientists warn.

Continue reading at NPR.

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