Mr Guterres said he was alarmed by the paralysis of world leaders on what he called the "defining issue" of our time.
He wants heads of government to come to New York for a special climate conference next September.
The call comes amid growing concerns over the slow pace of UN negotiations.
Mr Guterres painted a grim picture of the impacts of climate change that he says have been felt all over the world this year, with heatwaves, wildfires, storms and floods leaving a trail of destruction.
Corals are dying, he said, the oceans are becoming more acidic, and there are growing conflicts over dwindling resources.
Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are at their highest level in three million years.