UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on the eve of Cop27 that unless a “historic agreement” was signed between rich and poor countries, the world would be “doomed”.
Following last year’s summit in Glasgow, the gathering of world leaders, business people and environmentalists will take place in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt.
Guterres told the Guardian that the outcome of current policies and dynamics between developed and developing countries, if not changed, would be “absolutely disastrous”.
“We cannot avoid a catastrophic situation, if these two [the developed and developing world] A historic agreement cannot be established,” he said.
The truth is, without a deal between developed and emerging economies, we will not be able to change this
Rich countries have long pledged $100 billion a year in climate finance to poor countries, a goal originally intended to be achieved by 2020.
It was first promised in 2009, but never materialized. A report last year suggested that it won’t happen until 2023.
Mr Guterres also defended his use of dramatic language, saying the world was approaching a “tipping point” that would “make [climate breakdown] irreversible”.
“As we approach these tipping points, we need to increase urgency, we need to increase ambition, we need to rebuild trust, mainly between North and South,” he said.
“Because at current levels we are doomed. The current policy is absolutely catastrophic.
“And the truth is, without a deal between developed and emerging economies, we won’t be able to change that.”
Rishi Sunak spoke at the Cop27 reception hosted by the king on Friday in anticipation of the meeting.
The prime minister will be in Egypt next week after a U-turn, but Charles will miss it.
Speaking at a reception in the Buckingham Palace Ballroom on Friday, Mr Sunak said: “As recent events have shown, it is more important than ever to deliver on Glasgow’s promise.
“More importantly, investing in security, renewable energy and sustainable food production is critical, as we have seen in the Ukraine war.
“What’s more, because every moment we let climate change ravage our planet, we’ll see more human suffering, like the devastating floods in Pakistan.
“More importantly, if we don’t act today, we risk leaving an even more desperate legacy for our children.”