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Humankind’s role in the destructive warming of the planet is the equivalent to the meteorite that wiped out dinosaurs from Earth, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a speech on climate change on Wednesday.

“Like the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs, we’re having an outsized impact,” Guterres said in a speech at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

“In the case of climate, we are not the dinosaurs. We are the meteor. We are not only in danger. We are the danger.”

Last month was the hottest May ever recorded and the 12th straight month of record heat, the UN chief warned.

He said the world faces an 80pc chance of surpassing the 1.5-degree Celsius target for limiting average temperature incre­ases in at least one of the next five years, he said, quoting reports from Europe’s Copernicus programme and the World Meteorological Organis­ation.

The UN chief said countries must confront not just the fossil-fuel industry, but also companies that support efforts to obstruct climate action.

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