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UN chief’s ultimatum to world leaders: Agree on climate action or face a ‘collective suicide pact’ – ‘Humanity has a choice: cooperate or perish’

Planet Earth is on “the highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator”, the United Nations chief has told world leaders as they gather for annual talks, following a year of violent effects of climate change.

“We are in the fight of our lives – and we are losing,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, as the COP27 summit kicked off in Egypt.

Drought has withered crops in Europe, left millions facing starvation in Africa, and killed off fish from California to France to China. Emissions and global temperatures are still rising.

“Humanity has a choice: cooperate or perish,” Mr Guterres told a room packed with heads of state, including Europe’s Ursula von der Leyen, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Colombia’s Gustavo Francisco.