Climate Change Negotiations: Obama says "There Should Be no Illusions"

At UN climate change summit in New York President Hu Jintao has told that China will increase efforts to improve energy efficiency and cut CO2 emissions.

Mr Hu said the measures would mean emissions would grow less quickly than the economy, but gave no details.  

The US, the world's other major emitter, said China's proposals were helpful but figures were needed.  

About 100 leaders are attending the talks, ahead of the Copenhagen summit which is due to approve a new treaty.  

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said failure to agree a treaty in December would be "morally inexcusable".  

Negotiators for the Copenhagen summit are trying to agree on a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol to limit carbon emissions, BBC News reports. 

In the meantime, President Obama said the United States is "determined to act" and has put climate at the top of the diplomatic agenda with countries across regions, from China and India to Brazil and Mexico. 

The U.S. leader said the security and stability of every nation are at stake. 

Mr. Obama said "there should be no illusions" about how difficult it will be for world leaders to reach a climate change agreement during the Copenhagen meeting in December. 

President Obama acknowledged that developed nations had caused much of the damage to the global climate, and said they also have the responsibility to lead the global fight against it.  He said  the United States was slow to recognize and respond to global warming, but he outlined a series of steps his administration is now taking to combat the problem, Voice of America reports.

 Meanwhile, there are dire predictions coming from other quarters -- European officials say the talks are close to deadlock -- administration officials think there still is cause for hope.

 This morning, Obama tried to make the case for it. He ticked off a list of steps the U.S. has taken, including investing economic stimulus money in clean energy projects and raising its vehicle emission standards.

 Notably, he did not call for the Senate to pass a bill before the Copenhagen meeting in December, or even to get one out of committee by then.

 But the president laid down a personal marker on the issue, speaking in starker terms than he has used in months to describe the risk of not acting.

The security and stability of each nation and all peoples -- our prosperity, our health, our safety -- are in jeopardy," Obama said. "And the time we have to reverse this tide is running out."

Obama also offered a case for every nation to rise to the challenge, asserting that individual countries can still pursue economic prosperity while doing their part to protect the planet, Los Angeles Times reports.