"If you don't think you need to take action for the sake of climate change, make sure when you think about the planet you incorporate a couple of lungs, a brain and a heart".
The main agenda was for the completion of the rule book for the Paris Agreement, which would formalize and ramp up the nations' commitment to limit global temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius by reducing carbon emissions and implementing adaptation and mitigation measures. "It is incumbent on the worldwide community to ensure that justice is done".
Coal is centre-stage at the United Nations summit, which is taking place three years after a landmark deal in Paris set a goal of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
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.
"This year is likely to be one of the four hottest years on record".
In October a team of more than 90 independent scientists said mankind must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by half within the next 12 years to avoid heat rises that could tear at the fabric of society.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has issued an appeal to world leaders to do more to tackle climate change.
"Even as we witness devastating climate impacts causing havoc across the world, we are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough, to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption", Guterres said.
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President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria used his address to call for more stringent guidelines on financing "from developed countries to developing economies for climate change action".
The remark was also directed at host Poland, which relies on coal for 80 per cent of its energy.
Not far from the COP24 venue in Katowice, Polish anti-coal campaigners held their own, smaller protest on Sunday.
Arnold Schwarzenegger says he wishes he could travel back in time like the cyborg he played in "The Terminator" so he could stop fossil fuels from being used.
"The good news is that we do know a lot of what we need to be able to do to get there", said David Waskow of the World Resources Institute.
Frank Bainimarama, prime minister of Fiji and president of last year's Cop climate talks, said nations must act now to stave off disaster.
"Developed nations led by the USA will want to ignore their historic responsibilities and will say the world has changed", said Meena Ramam, from the Third World Network advocacy group.