President Barack Obama gave a major climate change speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, where he called for the entire world to join an “ambitious” future agreement designed to reduce carbon emissions.
“We have to lead. That is what the United Nations and this General Assembly is about,” Obama said, speaking at a UN Climate summit in New York City. “We recognise our role in creating this problem. We embrace our responsibility to combat it. We will do our part.”
Obama pointed to developing countries — not just China and the US, he said — as necessary partners in the effort.
“We can only succeed in combating climate change if we are joined in this effort by every nation — developed and developing alike. Nobody gets a pass,” he continued. “The emerging economies that have experienced some of the most dynamic growth in recent years, have also emitted rising levels of carbon pollution. It those emerging economies that are likely to produce more and more carbon emissions.”
Obama also gave a quick nod to the climate change march that took place Sunday in New York City, which reportedly featured over 300,000 activists pushing the world to become more aggressive on the issue.
“The climate is changing faster than our efforts to address it. The alarm bells keep ringing. Our citizens keep marching. We cannot pretend we do not hear them,” the president said. “We have to answer the call.”