WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday a new global agreement on climate change needs to include strong commitments from emerging economies and to move past the rich-poor country divide that has hampered progress in U.N. negotiations.
Obama addressed the U.N. climate change summit with a statement meant to build political momentum for a global deal on climate change in 2015 and a list of old and new commitments his administration has made to address it to date.
He said a new "global compact" needs to include strong commitments from some of the world's emerging economies, which will increase the amount of greenhouse gases they emit as their economies continue to grow.
"This time we need an agreement that reflects economic realities in the next decade and beyond," Obama said.
"It must be ambitious because that’s what the scale of this challenge demands."
Obama said prior to taking the podium, he met China's vice premier Zhang Gaoli and the two agreed the world's two biggest emitters "have a responsibility to lead."
(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Howard Goller)