In the first international test for his climate-change strategy, President Obama pressed world leaders Tuesday to follow the United States’ lead on the issue, even as a one-day United Nations summit revealed many obstacles that stand in the way of wider agreements to reduce heat-trapping pollution.
“The United States has made ambitious investments in clean energy and ambitious reductions in our carbon emissions,” Obama said. “Today I call on all countries to join us…Because no nation can meet this global threat alone.”
None of the pledges made at Tuesday’s meeting was binding. The summit, part of the annual U.N. General Assembly, was to lay the groundwork for a new global treaty to tackle climate change in December 2015. It also revealed the sharp differences that divide countries.
Brazil, home to the Amazon rainforest, said it would not sign a pledge to halt deforestation by 2030.
The United States decided not to join 73 countries in supporting a price on carbon, which Congress has indicated it would reject.
And minutes after Obama said “nobody gets a pass,” Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli insisted the world treat developing nations, including China, differently than developed nations, allowing them to release more heat-trapping pollution.
China, the No. 1 carbon-polluting nation, has signed a carbon-pricing agreement.