Siberia is seeing its warmest temperature on record this year while enormous chunks of ice caps in Greenland and Canada are breaking off.
All of those phenomena are happening while countries are acutely aware that there is no cure or vaccine or global warming.
“We are already seeing a version of environmental Armageddon,” Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said, citing wildfires in the western US and noting that the Greenland ice chunk was larger than a number of island nations.
This was meant to be the year “we took back our planet”, he said.
Instead, the Covid-19 pandemic has diverted resources and attention from what could have been the marquee issue at this UN gathering.
Meanwhile, the UN global climate summit has been postponed to late 2021.
That hasn’t stopped countries, from slowly sinking island nations to parched African ones, from speaking out.
“In another 75 years, many ... members may no longer hold seats at the United Nations if the world continues on its present course,” the Alliance of Small Island States and the Least Developed Countries Group said.