• He spoke when delivering a statement on behalf of the African Group and Kenya at the 27th UN Climate Change Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
• The conference, best known as COP 27, has assembled countries to take stock of actions aimed at achieving the world's collective climate goals as agreed under the Paris Agreement.
President William Ruto has called on UN member states to act with the urgency needed to address the worsening climate change crisis.
Ruto said lengthy discussions at Climate Change conferences, procrastination and delaying tactics that have hampered implementation and delivery of action are cruel and unjust.
"We cannot afford to spend more time skirting around the real issues and we must break out of the open-ended, process-focused discussions we are trapped in,” Ruto said.
He spoke when delivering a statement on behalf of the African Group and Kenya at the 27th UN Climate Change Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
The conference, best known as COP 27, has assembled countries to take stock of actions aimed at achieving the world's collective climate goals as agreed under the Paris Agreement.
The agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change.
It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris on December 12, 2015, and entered into force on November 4, 2016.
Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
Ruto said member states can no longer afford to slacken on their mandate to achieve the agreed goals but must focus on delivery and commitment to implementation.
"As we speak, the pledge made 13 years ago in Copenhagen, committing USD 100 billion annually, remains unfulfilled. Such egregious and unexplained default is a major cause of persisting distrust. Neither is there any sound reason for the continuing pollution.
"Further delay will make us busy spectators as calamity wipes out lives and livelihoods in the face of impending catastrophe, whose warning signs are already unbearably disastrous,” Ruto said.
Climate change has had far-reaching effects on the world with adverse weather patterns hitting especially developing countries the hardest.
In Kenya, for instance, 23 counties have been affected by drought, the worst in 40 years, with an estimated 4.5 million people on the verge of starvation if the situation persists.
Failed rains over several years have seen food production slump to a record low, causing food prices to also skyrocket to a record high.
Generally, humanity is confronting unprecedented devastation on a global scale with the frequency of disasters like hurricanes, typhoons, wildfires, heat waves and droughts worsening every passing year.
In Africa, it is estimated that by 2050, climate impacts could cost the continent $50 billion (Sh6 trillion) annually.