World leaders met Sunday for the start of the COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The conference was opened by U.N. secretary-general Antonio Guterres, who gave a sobering speech about the growing severity of climate change and global greenhouse gas emissions.

"We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator," Guterres said.

Guterres' speech, which went on to describe the climate crisis as a "fight for our lives" that "we are losing," set the tone for the sobering statistics released during the conference.

The World Meteorological Association released a study Sunday that raised alarm bells on climate change, which said that the planet has set new records for warm climates since 2015, and is getting warmer each year.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi agreed with Guterres' call to action - a "climate solidarity pact" between rich and poor nations to pay damages to countries devastated by extreme weather and climate-related disasters.

El-Sisi said the pact was their "last chance" to stop the spread of climate change and emphasized that the U.N. should act in support of limiting gas emissions "for the sake of future generations."

The U.N.'s call to action was met with criticism by Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who called the pact "double jeopardy" and "fundamentally unfair" for the world's poorer countries.

When taking her turn at the COP27 podium, Mottley said, "I don't need to repeat that this is the COP that needs action." Mottley added that leaders need to "understand why we are not moving any further."

Mottley said that the world leaders should not come to the COP27 conference "just to make promises" and stressed that she wants all nations to be able to "deliver on them."

In her closing statement, Mottely said that many world leaders are "still not capable" of delivering on their promises, a reference to her earlier call-out of the World Bank and heavily industrialized nations that have not done enough to help devastated countries during climate disasters.

Mottley argued that as a result, climate change refugee numbers will skyrocket to "1 billion" by 2050.