World leaders launch a whirlwind day of talks in the French capital on Monday aimed at forging an elusive agreement to stave off calamitous global warming. Scientists warn that unless action is taken soon mankind will endure ever-worsening catastrophic events, such as droughts that will lead to conflict and rising sea levels that will wipe out low-lying island nations. “We have to decide how we will be living together on this planet,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is also the president of the UN-brokered talks, said Sunday as he appealed for compromise. About 150 leaders will be in Paris on Monday for the first day of talks. Many poor nations insist rich countries bear the most responsibility for tackling the problem, because they have burnt the most fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution on their way to prosperity. But the United States and other developed nations insist more must be done by China, India and other emerging countries, which are burning increasing amounts of coal to power their fast-flowing economies. Potential stumbling blocs in Paris range from finance for climate vulnerable and poor countries, to scrutiny of commitments to curb greenhouse gases and even the legal status of the accord. Still, important progress has been made ahead of the meeting. One of the key successes has been a process in which 183 nations have submitted voluntary action plans on how they would tackle global warming. UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said these provide the architecture for more ambitious efforts that could eventually limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius from pre-Industrial Revolution levels.