Naturalist and TV legend Sir David Attenborough has sent a dramatic message about the impact of climate change on the world, insisting there is now a pressing need to stand together to solve the growing issue, as he spoke at the recent UN Climate Change conference.
Citing bleak recent reports, including one from the United Nations expert climate panel in October, Guterres noted devastation from hurricanes in Barbuda and Dominica which he called "heart-breaking", but also "preventable".
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 unsafe temperature rises.
Climate change was an important topic on this year's agenda, which comes on the heels of an ominous climate report by the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization's announcement that the average global temperature for 2018 will likely be the fourth highest on record, and 20 of the world's warmest years happened in the last 22 years.
The former COP presidents made it clear that what ministers and other leaders say and do in Katowice at COP24 will help determine efforts for years to come and either bring the world closer to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement - including protecting those most vulnerable to climate change - or push action further down the road.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened the summit in Poland with an appeal to world leaders to take the threat of global warming seriously and to act boldly to avert a catastrophic rise in temperatures before the end of the century.
Officials from almost 200 countries now have two weeks to finalize how those goals work in practice, even as science suggests the pace of climate change is rapidly outstripping mankind's response. At a similar summit three years ago, the Paris Agreement was drafted and signed, aiming to limit man-made global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
"This used to be my home", she says.
Katowice is at the heart of Poland's coal mining region of Silesia and there are still several active mines in and around the city. President Donald Trump has announced Washington's withdrawal from the Paris accord, saying it's a bad deal for Americans, and repeatedly questioned the science behind climate change.
He also said that "climate action is not just the right thing to do, it makes social and economic sense", pointing to how action to cut emissions will curb air pollution deaths and generate millions of jobs and trillions of dollars.
Host Poland proposed a declaration for a "just transition" away from coal mining, the supplier of its main source of energy, which calls for winning social acceptance for the necessary changes.
President Donald Trump has threatened to pull the USA out of the Paris agreement because of what he says is the economic damage the treaty's provisions would cause.
The summit hoped to spur global action after the 2015 Paris climate accord.
"We have no time for limitless negotiations..."
The President had on Sunday in Krakow, Poland, during an interactive session with the Nigerian community in the country, denied the rumour that he is a clone.