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Obama: US Recognizes Responsibility for Climate Change

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The United States accepts responsibility for global climate change and is ready to lead international efforts aimed at tackling the problem, US President Barack Obama said Tuesday at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York.

MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti) – The United States accepts responsibility for global climate change and is ready to lead international efforts aimed at tackling the problem, US President Barack Obama said Tuesday at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York.

"We recognize our role in creating this problem [of climate change]; we embrace our responsibility to combat it. We will do our part and we will help developing nations do theirs," Obama said.

"In America, the past decade has been our hottest on record. Along our eastern coast the city of Miami now floods at high tide. In our west, wild fire season now stretches most of the year. In out heartland, farms have been parched by the worst drought in generations and drenched by the wettest spring in our history. A hurricane left parts of this great city [of New York] dark and under water, and some nations already live with far worse," Obama noted.

"Worldwide this summer was the hottest ever recorded. The global carbon emission is still on the rise," the US president stressed, adding that "the climate is changing faster than our efforts to address it" and that "no nation can meet this global threat alone."

Barack Obama promised that the United States will reduce its carbon emissions in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and called on all nations to step up their efforts in reducing their carbon emissions.

The US president noted, however, that addressing the issue of global climate change would be "hard."

"Let me be honest. None of this is without controversy. In each of our countries there are interests that will be resistant to action. And in each country there is a suspicion that if we act and other countries don't, then we will be at an economic disadvantage," Obama said, adding that "no matter what we do some populations will still be at risk."

The United Nations Tuesday climate summit in New York was called by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The one-day meeting was open to leaders of all 193 UN-member states.

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