"Right now we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years: Climate change", Attenborough said as the worldwide climate conference got underway with talks on how countries will implement the 2015 Paris Agreement limiting carbon emissions.
"Carbon pollution has been rising since this government came to office and is projected to continue to rise all the way to 2030, which is as far as the government's projections go", he said, adding that "we are now pretty much the only major advanced economy where carbon pollution and greenhouse gases are going up rather than coming down".
Adapting implementation guidelines of a climate change accord to combat global warming is the crucial objective at the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Poland from December 2 to 14.
It was the COP21 which lead to the famed Paris agreement in 2015, the legally binding agreement to climate change where countries are obliged to keep global warming well below 2 degrees celsius.
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".
The World Bank on Monday said it was doubling funding for poor countries preparing for climate change to $200 billion over five years.
HANNA FRANZEN via Getty Images Greta Thunberg, 15, said world leaders who skip the climate summit are "very irresponsible".
But many other countries are already dealing with the droughts, higher seas and catastrophic storms climate change is exacerbating right now. The only holdout was the United States, which announced under President Donald Trump that it is withdrawing from the climate pact.
"Developed nations led by the United States will want to ignore their historic responsibilities and will say the world has changed", said Meena Ramam, from the Third World Network advocacy group.
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Prior to COP24, there were many worldwide efforts to bring about a successful outcome, including the Bonn Climate Change Conference in Germany in April, followed by the Bangkok Climate Change Conference in Thailand in September.
Africans expect "real action" on climate change, said delegates from the African group, as an worldwide climate conference began in the southern Polish city of Katowice on Monday.
Stating that "we have no time for limitless negotiations", the Secretary-General insisted on the need to operationalise the Paris Agreement, and reminded Member States that 2018 is the deadline that they set for themselves to finalise the guidelines for implementation.
The First Minister said the money will support the work of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, which promotes collaboration between governments, businesses and investors to lower emissions.
"Or, God forbid, [we] ignore the irrefutable evidence and become the generation that betrayed humanity", Bainimarama said.
"The world is at a crossroads and decisive action in the next two years will be crucial to tackle these urgent threats".
A key issue up for debate is how the fight against climate change is funded, with developed and developing nations still worlds apart in their demands.