A small group of vegan activists protest on the first day of COP27 in Egypt.

Watch: Vegan activists protest on the first day of COP27 in Egypt

The UN's COP27 climate summit kicked off Sunday in Egypt after a year of extreme weather disasters that have fuelled calls for wealthy industrialised nations to compensate poorer countries.

The UN's COP27 climate summit kicked off Sunday in Egypt after a year of extreme weather disasters that have fuelled calls for wealthy industrialised nations to compensate poorer countries.

Just in the past few months, climate-induced catastrophes have killed thousands, displaced millions and cost billions in damages across the world.

Massive floods devastated swaths of Pakistan and Nigeria, droughts worsened in Africa and the western United States, cyclones whipped the Caribbean, and unprecedented heatwaves seared three continents.

The conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh comes in a fraught year marked by Russia's war on Ukraine, an energy crunch, soaring inflation and the lingering effects from the Covid pandemic. On the first day, a small group of vegan activists carried placards to protest at the entrance of the Sharm El Sheikh International Convention Centre.

"Whilst I do understand that leaders around the world have faced competing priorities this year, we must be clear: as challenging as our current moment is, inaction is myopic and can only defer climate catastrophe," Alok Sharma, British president of the previous COP26, said, as he handed over the chairmanship to Egypt.