Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said the Copenhagen summit in December is the last chance to avoid 'unchecked emissions growth'.
Speaking to the Major Economies Forum in London, he said no retrospective global agreement in the future could undo the damage of not reaching an international agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Mr Brown outlined the key areas on which there was still no agreement: binding caps for developed countries; finance for adaption and sharing of knowledge on technologies like solar power and carbon capture and storage (CCS).
'We cannot compromise with the earth. We cannot compromise with the catastrophe of unchecked climate change; so we must compromise with one another,' he said.
Mr Brown also reiterated his proposals for $100bn per year to be given to less-industrialised countries to help them adapt to the impacts of climate change.
'That requires developed countries to come forward with finance offers, and developing countries to come forward with the plans and actions that such finance would support,' he said.
Speech in full