King Charles III delivers an address at the opening ceremony of the World Climate Action Summit during COP28 on December 01, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The King is visiting Dubai to attend COP28 UAE, the United Nation's Climate Change Conference.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
CNN  — 

King Charles III told world leaders Friday that the warning signs of the climate crisis are being ignored and that the world is heading for “dangerous uncharted territory,” with devastating consequences for lives and livelihoods.

Delivering an opening address to delegates at the World Climate Action Summit, part of the COP28 summit in Dubai, the King said he prayed “with all my heart that COP28 will be a critical turning point towards genuine transformational action.”

“Some important progress has been made but it worries me greatly that we remain so dreadfully far off track,” he said, adding, “we are taking the natural world outside balanced norms and limits and into dangerous uncharted territory.”

Referring to this year’s climate change-fueled extreme weather, including Canada’s unprecedented wildfire season, deadly flooding in Pakistan and Bangladesh and catastrophic drought in East Africa, the King told delegates that the “hope of the world” rested on decisions taken at the summit.

“We are carrying out a vast, frightening experiment of changing every ecological condition all at once as a pace that far outstrips nature’s ability to cope,” he said