Natural historian David Attenborough listens to speeches during the COP24 summit on climate change in Katowice, Poland, on Monday.
Ironically, the climate summit is projected to have a large carbon footprint of its own which will directly contribute to the "man-made" climate change they claim is about to bring an end to "our civilizations".
"This is a very, very important conference", Patricia Espinosa, the UN's climate chief, said.
"We need concerted resource mobilisation and investment to successfully combat climate change, we must start today building the tomorrow we want".
Most notably, American president Donald Trump has shown a complete disregard of any sustainable climate goals, announcing his intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and implementing policies that favor the fossil fuel industry at the expense of greener tech.
At COP24, nations must finalize implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement - known as the Paris Agreement Work Program or Paris Rulebook.
The conference, attended by 30,000 delegates from 196 countries including Ireland, is being held in Katowice, in the heart of Poland's coal-mining region.
Delegates at the talks said the biggest issues were likely to include finance and the level of scrutiny associated with monitoring individual nations' emissions.
But the negotiations got off to a chaotic start, with the opening session delayed almost three hours by a series of last-ditch submissions.
Andrzej Duda, the president of Poland, spoke at the opening ceremony, saying the use of "efficient" coal technology can be employed to take action on climate change, something which has been described as raising the "middle finger to the climate".
Demonstrators marched through the quarter of the Belgian capital that houses the headquarters of the European Union, with banners bearing slogans including "There is no planet B" and "Climate First, Politics Second".
The demonstrators were demanding that the Belgian authorities take action to meet the commitments set in Paris in 2015 of limiting warming to "well below" a rise of 2°C above pre-industrial times while "pursuing efforts" for the tougher 1.5° goal.
TRT World's Assed Baig reports. For 1.5C, they must increase fivefold.
Moreover, the wider political environment had changed.
"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 told delegates from nearly 200 countries who gathered in the city of Katowice.
For his part, Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro vowed to follow Washington's lead during his campaign.
"Now in Poland, they have to agree on how they will achieve this collectively, we can not fail in Katowice", the United Nations chief said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened the summit in Poland with an appeal to world leaders to take the threat of global warming seriously and to act boldly to avert a catastrophic rise in temperatures before the end of the century.
"The question really is: how do you ensure that ambitious actions are done in an equitable way?"