"We are in trouble. We are in deep trouble with climate change. Climate change is running faster than we are and we must catch up sooner rather than later before it is too late. For many, people, regions even countries this is already a matter of life and death," he said during in his opening remarks.
"It is hard to overstate the urgency of our situation," he added.
He further called for reduction in greenhouse emissions and remarked that if we fail, "the Arctic and Antarctic will continue to melt, corals will bleach and die, the oceans will rise, more people will die from air pollution, water scarcity will plague a significant proportion of humanity, and the cost of disasters will skyrocket."
"It is our job here in Katowice is to finalize the Paris Agreement Work Programme -- the rule book for implementation. I remind all Parties that this is a deadline you set for yourselves and it is vital you meet it," Guterres said.
"We cannot afford to fail in Katowice," he remarked.
He further mentioned, "We need a unifying implementation vision that sets out clear rules, inspires action and promotes raised ambition, based on the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances."
COP24 is the informal name given to the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Sir David Attenborough also spoke at the event and rallied for a change to curb worsening climatic conditions.
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