The internationally renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough says that climate change is the greatest threat to the world in thousands of years. "The continuation of civilisations and the natural world upon which we depend is in your hands".
To finalize the rules for implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement adopted in 2015, around 20,000 people from some 190 countries, including politicians and those representing nongovernmental organizations, the scientific community and business sector, are expected to attend this year's conference in the southern Polish city of Katowice.
Guterres also urged negotiators not to forget that the challenges they face pale in comparison to the difficulties climate change is already causing millions around the world whose homes and livelihoods are at risk from rising sea levels, drought and more powerful storms.
"It is now more critical than ever that all countries commit to doing their fair share of cutting emissions and providing the tools and resources required to address climate change".
"Climate change is running faster than we are and we must catch up sooner rather than later, before it's too late", he said.
"Leaders of the world you must lead", he added.
Prior to COP24, there were many global efforts to bring about a successful outcome, including the Bonn Climate Change Conference in Germany in April, followed by the Bangkok Climate Change Conference in Thailand in September.
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"We are approaching risky climate thresholds, species are disappearing at an unseen rate, lands are degrading at an accelerated pace and global carbon dioxide emissions increased in 2017 after a three-year period of stabilization".
A process to enable countries to announce efforts by 2020 to ramp up their domestic ambition on cutting greenhouse gas emissions must be launched, they said, as current efforts are not enough to prevent risky temperature rises. This implementing framework shows how governments plan on reaching the ambitious goals the agreement sets out - namely, keeping the increase in global average temperatures to well below 2°C.
Every signee has a different role to play, and the nitty-gritty of how they will work to keep global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial levels is the source of conversation at the COP24 climate talks, which just kicked off in Katowice, Poland, and will go on until December 14.
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"For some people, this is a life-or-death situation without a doubt", said Natalie Mahowald, a Cornell University climate scientist and lead author of the IPCC report. "So I think it is perfectly normal that his Holiness the Pope, not only this Pope, it comes from the past, have a very positive position in relation to climate action", he said.
And researchers have also found that climate change is contributing to the destruction of some of the world's most vulnerable natural habitats and is compounding natural disasters, like hurricanes, by increasing rainfall.
Calling Mr Trump "meshugge" - Yiddish for "crazy" - for deciding to withdraw from the Paris accord, Schwarzenegger insisted the climate deal had widespread support at local and state levels in the US.