U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged world leaders to make concerted efforts in tackling climate change, saying American efforts to cut greenhouse gas pollution cannot accomplish the goal alone.
"No nation can meet this global threat alone," Obama said in an address to the United Nations during a climate summit. "Nobody gets a pass."
Obama emphasized on the importance of taking "ambitious" actions, calling for the world's leading economies to move past fears that tackling climate change could hurt growth.
"None of this is without controversy," Obama said. "In each of our countries, there will be interests that will be resistant to action."
"We have to raise our collective ambition, each of us doing what we can to confront this global challenge." said the President.
While acknowledging some responsibility on the U.S. for climate change, Obama said, "We recognize our role in creating this problem; we embrace our responsibility to combat it. We will do our part, and we will help developing nations do theirs."
Obama's address came as the White House announced a series of measures to boost global resilience to the effects of climate change, including a new executive order requiring federal agencies to factor climate resilience into the design of their international development programs and investments.
"There should be no question that the United States of America is stepping up to the plate," Obama said.
The UN Climate Summit opened here Tuesday with an appeal from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for global action to address climate change.
"Climate change threatens hard-won peace, prosperity, and opportunity for billions of people," Ban said during his opening remarks. "Today we must set the world on a new course."
The Summit attracted more than 120 heads of state and government and was expected to set the stage for a crucial conference in Paris of France in December 2015, with the mission of finalizing a new global climate change pact.