US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that developed countries had a responsibility to lead in dealing with climate change.
Speaking at the UN Climate Change Summit, which kicked off Tuesday at the UN headquarters, Obama said "the developed nations that caused much of the damage to our climate over the last century still have a responsibility to lead."
"And we will continue to do so - by investing in renewable energy, promoting greater efficiency, and slashing our emissions to reach the targets we set for 2020 and our long-term goal for 2050," he said.
Tuesday's summit is convening just 10 weeks before world leaders gather in Copenhagen in December to try to seal a treaty on climate change after the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
The summit aims to advance the negotiations, although it is not a negotiating session itself. It provides a forum where leaders can discuss fundamental issues, find common ground and provide guidance to their negotiators.
In his 5-minute speech at the summit, Obama said "that so many of us are here today is a recognition that the threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing. Our generation's response to this challenge will be judged by history, for if we fail to meet it - boldly, swiftly, and together - we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe."