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Thailand

Executive secretary says ‘progress was made, but nothing was finalized’. Nations will meet again in Poland in December.

Climate change activists take part in a demonstration in front of the United Nations building in Bangkok. Photograph: Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/Getty Images

An international meeting in Bangkok fell short of its aim of completing fruitful preparations to help an agreement be reached in December on guidelines for implementing the 2015 Paris climate change agreement.

The six-day meeting, which ended on Sunday, was scheduled to step up progress in the battle against rising global carbon emissions by adopting a completed text that could be presented at the COP24 conference in Katowice, Poland, three months from now.

A primary objective of the 2015 Paris agreement, to which 190 nations subscribe, is to limit the global temperature increase by 2100 to less than 2C and as close as possible to 1.5C, which is vital to the survival of island nations threatened by rising seas. But the absence of guidelines for meeting that goal has led to fears that not enough action is being taken.

There have been notable disagreements over fair financing for implementation of the rules by developing countries, and the technical details of their reporting on progress.

Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said on Sunday at the closing press briefing for the Bangkok meeting that progress was made on most issues but nothing was finalized.

The meeting was attended by representatives of most of the countries party to the Paris agreement, as well as the United States, which has announced that it is pulling out of the pact.

Read more: 'Limited' progress at Bangkok climate talks

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A woman walks through floodwaters in front of the Grand Palace near the Chao Praya river in Bangkok on October 28, 2011. AFP

As Bangkok prepares to host climate-change talks, the sprawling city of more than 10 million is itself under siege from the environment, with dire forecasts warning it could be partially submerged in just over a decade.

A preparatory meeting begins Tuesday in Thailand’s capital for the next UN climate conference, a crunch summit in Poland at the end of 2018 to set rules on reducing greenhouse emissions and providing aid to vulnerable countries.

As temperatures rise, abnormal weather patterns – like more powerful cyclones, erratic rainfall, and intense droughts and floods – are predicted to worsen over time, adding pressure on governments that are tasked with bringing the 2015 Paris climate treaty to life.

Bangkok, built on once-marshy land about 1.5meters (five feet) above sea level, is projected to be one of the world’s hardest hit urban areas, alongside fellow Southeast Asian behemoths Jakarta and Manila.

“Nearly 40 percent” of Bangkok will be inundated by as early as 2030 due to extreme rainfall and changes in weather patterns, according to a World Bank report.

Read more: Bangkok struggling to stay afloat

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Thai soldiers connected pipes to reroute water away from the Tham Luang Cave on Saturday.CreditSakchai Lalit/Associated Press

After 12 members of a youth soccer team and their coach were trapped in the Tham Luang Cave in northern Thailand nearly three weeks ago, their plight, and then their rescue, captured the world’s attention.

Read more: Does Climate Change Have Anything to Do With Floods in Thailand?

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