Speaking at the UN Climate Summit today, President Barack Obama called for decisive action against climate change by all nations.
“The climate is changing faster than our efforts to address it. The alarm bells keep ringing. Our citizens keep marching. We cannot pretend we don’t hear them,” he said.
The president said all nations should join the US in reducing greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change.
“We will do our part, but we can only succeed in this effort if we are joined by every nation, developing and developed alike. Nobody gets a pass.”
Climate negotiations in the past have stalemated over disparities between rich and poor nations and what their leaders have pledged to do and can afford to do. Poorer nations are suffering some of the worst and earliest effects of climate change, and remain at the mercy of more industrialized nations, which emit the lion’s share of carbon pollution.
Another concern is that explosive industrialization in heavily populated China and India will unleash carbon emissions that could overwhelm the atmosphere. Obama addressed them, though not by name.
“It is those emerging economies that are likely to produce more and more carbon emissions in the years to come. So nobody can stand on the sidelines…”
In the video, Obama addresses foreign policy issues first. The climate portion begins at about minute 41.