But governments move slowly - COP24 comes three years after the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, where nations agreed to halt the rise in temperatures to "well below" 2 deg C - 1.5 deg C, if possible.
In a world that has already warmed about 1 deg C since pre-industrial times, the stories from ground zero are clear.
Said The Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez, who is also editor-in-chief of the English/Malay/Tamil Media Group of Singapore Press Holdings: "Climate change is happening here and now. Many of us worry about what might be done to safeguard our planet for generations to come.
"We wanted to bring this issue home to our readers.
"So ST deployed some of our best reporters, photographers and videographers, designers and graphic artists, to tell the story of how global warming is impacting the lives of people around our part of the world.
"The series of reports they came back with makes for compelling and thought-provoking reading."
ST got 19 of its journalists to travel to 17 spots around the world to look at the human suffering, the trends and the edgiest tools being employed to slow the march of climate change.
What they learnt is that while the situation is grim, all is not lost - organisations and individuals are making a difference.
For assistant foreign editor David Fogarty and executive photojournalist Mark Cheong, it was a shock to see the damage Australia's Great Barrier Reef has suffered from bleaching - where corals turn white due to high water temperatures.
Bleaching episodes in just two summers have killed off half of all shallow-water corals in the northern and central sections - an area spanning more than 1,000km, or over 20 times the length of Singapore. This was the impact of climate change on a vast scale.
But, noted Mr Fogarty, it was also reassuring to see other areas still bursting with colourful corals and fish. "And in many other spots you could see tiny juvenile corals taking root, an example of the reef trying to recover; there was hope that the reef is still resilient," he said.
In the face of a stark and worrying future, scientists aren't giving up.
"I was struck by their determination to help corals survive a hotter world by enhancing their natural ability to adapt to changing conditions," he said.
The initial findings are positive, and the researchers hope that their efforts will buy the reef some time.
But ultimately, everyone must play a part, from the individual who decides to eat less meat and use less electricity to the government that makes the shift towards renewable energy.
As environment correspondent Audrey Tan, who saw residents band together to avert a water crisis in South Africa's Cape Town, said: "That gives me hope. Mankind caused climate change, maybe we could be the ones that save the earth too."
- Through six weekly multimedia packages of text, photos, videos, infographics and a dedicated microsite, ST correspondents will bring you the human stories of climate change. Today, the first part - A Reef In Peril - looks at how global warming is killing the Great Barrier Reef and how scientists are fighting to save it.
Warming seas are killing the Great Barrier Reef