Speaking at the presentation of the most recent report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Guterres pointed to the document as a repository of "suffering and an overwhelming indictment of the failure of world leaders in the fight against climate change", especially with regard to countries with the most polluting emissions.
"Nearly half of humanity lives in danger zones, today and now. Many ecosystems have reached the point of no return. The facts are there and they are undeniable," he said in a video message, declaring that "this abdication of leadership is criminal."
António Guterres said that "the culprits are the world's biggest polluters, who set fire to the only house" that humanity has.
The top official of the United Nations said that the report contains two fundamental truths: "coal and other fossil fuels are suffocating humanity" and "investment in adaptation to climate change is working and saves lives".
However, he stressed that the volume of aid to developing countries is "clearly inadequate", warning that "to waste time is to die".
"I know people everywhere are worried and angry. So am I. It's time to turn this anger into action."