BONN, Germany (AP) — 7:35 p.m.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he will urge leaders at climate talks in Bonn to respond to the latest alarming data by further cutting emissions, helping countries respond to climate shocks, and mobilizing the $100 billion promised to help developing countries.
Guterres told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York before flying to Europe on Friday that recent reports "have set climate alarm bells ringing" and demonstrate the need to "accelerate climate action — and raise ambition."
He pointed to reports showing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reaching new highs in 2016 and U.S. data showing temperatures are the warmest in "modern civilization."
The 2015 Paris climate accord set a target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) — or 2 C at the most — by the end of the century.
Guterres warned that the window of opportunity to limit temperatures to the target range "may close in 20 years or less."
The Italian government says the country will phase out the use of coal for national electricity needs by 2025 as part of developing a sustainable and competitive energy strategy.
Premier Paolo Gentiloni, flanked by his environment and economic development ministers, announced the plan Friday at a Rome signing ceremony of the National Energy Strategy.
The plan calls for investments of 175 billion euros ($204 billion) through 2030 in infrastructure, renewable energy and energy efficiency development.
According to government statistics, carbon provided 16 percent of Italy's national electricity in 2015.
Economic Development Minister Carlo Calenda said local and regional authorities must come on board the government's plan to reach zero percent by 2025.
The energy strategy sets goals of decreasing carbon emissions from energy 39 percent by 2030 and 63 percent by 2050.
Environmental activists have staged a protest at a German coal-fired power plant to highlight the country's continued use of heavily polluting fossil fuels.
Protesters projected images of Pacific islanders threatened by climate change onto the cooling tower of the lignite-fuelled power station in Neurath, western Germany, early Friday.
The stunt, organized by representatives of Pacific island nations and environmental group Greenpeace, takes place as diplomats from around the world meet in nearby Bonn to discuss implementing the Paris climate accord.
The German government claims to be a leader in the fight against climate change but has refused to set a date for phasing out the use of coal, which emits large amounts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide when burned.