The world is accelerating towards a climate catastrophe, UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned on Thursday, urging rapid progress in talks to cut emissions and tackle global warming.
"Our foot is stuck on the accelerator and we are heading towards an abyss," the UN Secretary General said in a speech to the World Climate Conference.
Ban, who this week visited the Arctic to witness first hand the changes wrought by global warming, warned that many of the "more distant scenarios" predicted by scientists were "happening now."
"Scientists have been accused for years of scaremongering. But the real scaremongers are those who say we cannot afford climate action -- that it will hold back economic growth," he said.