The Latest: UN chief: Climate change is our defining threat

Markets Associated Press

The Latest on the climate talks in Bonn, Germany (all times local):

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3:30 p.m.

The head of the United Nations says climate change is "the defining threat of our time" and requires concerted action by the international community.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the world may have only five years to take measures needed to meet the most ambitious target of keeping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Guterres told leaders, ministers and negotiators at global climate talks in Bonn, Germany, on Wednesday that although this will require sharp cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, the steps are achievable.

He cited data showing major developing countries such as China and India surpassing their emissions reduction goals as evidence that economic growth is possible even while cutting down on fossil fuel use.

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Guterres urged leaders to "show courage in combatting entrenched interests" in fighting climate change.


2:30 p.m.

Police and company officials say environmental activists have occupied conveyor belts and other equipment at a lignite-fired power station in western Germany, causing some disruption to the plant.

Police said several people in masks occupied the facility Wednesday at Weisweiler, west of Bonn, which is hosting global climate talks. News agency dpa reported that operator RWE said it switched off two of the four power generating units for lack of coal.

Activists want Chancellor Angela Merkel's government to phase out the use of coal, which generates about 40 percent of Germany's electricity. The

In Bonn itself, Greenpeace said 14 of its activists protested on a coal ship on the Rhine river, laying out a banner reading "Merkel's Dirty Secret: Coal" as it passed the conference venue.


9:30 a.m.

World leaders arrive at the global climate talks in Germany on Wednesday to give the negotiations a boost going into the final stretch.

Attention will focus in particular on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who faces growing pressure to announce a firm deadline for ending her country's use of coal.

Environmental campaigners and poor countries say Merkel should use the event on home turf to signal Germany will phase out the heavily polluting fossil fuel by 2030.

But the timing is difficult for Merkel. After speaking at the climate talks in Bonn she flies back to Berlin for negotiations on forming a new government that would include a pro-business party, the Free Democrats, which opposes a coal deadline.

Also speaking Wednesday are U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and French President Emmanuel Macron.