World Bulletin / News Desk
Several thousand demonstrators converged on Bonn Saturday ahead of UN climate negotiations demanding that governments step up action to halt global warming, starting with a rapid phase-out of coal-burning power plants.
Inked outside the French capital in 2015, the world's only climate treaty calls for capping global warming at "well under" two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and 1.5 C (2.7 F) if possible.
Earth has already warmed by 1 C compared to pre-industrial levels.
"The lives and livelihoods of millions of people are under threat, entire island states are in danger of disappearing from rising sea-levels," a coalition of more than 100 civil society groups said in a statement ahead of the march.
"Tackling climate change means a rapid phaseout of fossil fuels, including the burning of coal."
Coal accounts for roughly a third of global energy consumption, and powers 40 percent of all electricity -- twice as much as the next energy source, natural gas.
Compared to gas and oil, coal produces more carbon pollution per unit of energy, making it the "dirtiest" of the fossil fuels.
Coal demand has slowed, especially in the United States where the natural gas fracking boom has undercut its market share.
But globally, demand is projected to expand until at least 2030, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
That growth seriously threatens the Paris Agreement's temperature goals, UN and energy experts say.
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