Climate change denial or indifference are 'perverse attitudes' - pope

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"The world has moved on and coal is not coming back", says federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, who teamed up with her United Kingdom counterpart to launch the Global Alliance to Power Past Coal.

The alliance hopes to grow to more than 50 members by next year, in a clear challenge to countries like the US and Indonesia that have announced plans to expand coal use in the coming years.

"To meet the Paris Agreement target of staying below 2 degrees, we need to phase out coal", Canada's Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna told a news conference to launch the alliance initiative. "Coal is literally choking our cities, with close to a million people dying every year from coal pollution".

The United States is the world's biggest historical greenhouse gas polluter and second only to China for current-day emissions.

Even Germany and Poland, hosts of climate talks this year and next, are holding onto coal for the foreseeable future.

The Powering Past Coal launch comes just days after USA administration officials, along with energy company representatives, led a side event at the talks to promote "fossil fuels and nuclear power in climate mitigation".

Shoebox-gift drop-off sites open November 13-20
The Samaritan's Purse project will deliver these gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and starvation . Nov. 18 and 19 and 10 noon Nov. 20. "Children all around the world are receiving thing they need", Shannon said.

A couple of US states signed up as well, rebuking President Donald Trump, who pulled the USA out of the Paris climate agreement earlier this year.

In his landmark 2015 environmental encyclical, Francis said global warming is "mainly" due to human activity and he called for fossil fuels to be progressively phased out without delay.

"We know that the Paris Agreement is a start", Merkel said in a speech in the German city of Bonn where nearly 200 countries are seeking to bolster the global climate accord.

The alliance was kicked off by Britain, Canada and the Marshall Islands, which urged other nations to join them in a letter, which was seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

"Climate change is a huge challenge, we all know that", he said.

Francis called climate change "one of the worst phenomena that our humanity is witnessing".