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Nations reconfirm support of global climate deal at UN summit

Nearly 200 countries have reaffirmed their commitment to a global climate change deal during a conference in Morocco. The UN gathering was overshadowed by Donald Trump's threats to withdraw the US from the global pact.

The 197 parties to the UN's climate convention called for increased political action in order to fight climate change in a proclamation issued on Thursday in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh.

"We call for the highest political commitment to combat climate change, as a matter of urgent priority," the 196 nations and the European Union bloc said in their "Marrakesh Action Proclamation" issued during the annual UN climate conference.

The document also called for increased financing for projects which will help prevent worst-case-scenario global warming and cope with the upcoming unavoidable effects of climate change.

"Our climate is warming at an alarming and unprecedented rate and we have an urgent duty to respond," the nations warned.

Within the proclamation, wealthier nations reconfirmed the goal of collecting $100 billion (94 billion euros) by 2020 to help developing countries make the shift to clean energy.

Decision to fight climate change 'irreversible'

The appeal came on the penultimate day of a conference which set out to craft a roadmap for enacting the Paris Agreement adopted last December. The deal has been ratified by 111 countries, including the United Kingdom, which adopted the deal on Thursday.

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Concern about US climate commitments

The meeting reconfirmed the global community's commitment to combat climate change, despite worries that US President-elect Donald Trump will follow through on promises to pull out of the Paris Agreement.

In previous statements, Trump has repeatedly claimed that man-made global warming is a hoax created by China. He has also promised to boost oil, gas and coal energy, while the climate deal seeks to cut net greenhouse gas emissions to zero this century.

On Thursday, China's special representative for climate change said his nation would continue to carry out climate-friendly policies no matter what course the US follows under Trump's leadership.

"We believe that tackling global climate change - which is stipulated in the Paris Agreement, including the long-term goal - and the shared vision are issues that cannot be changed. And they are the global trend, which is irreversible," Xie Zhenhua said in response to a question from German news agency dpa.

The UN conference in Morocco will run until Friday, with some negotiations continuing on to the last day.

rs/kl  (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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