French President Francois Hollande has urged world leaders at the UN to speed up their commitments to tackling climate change, so that an historic deal can be reached at a summit in Paris in December.
The aim is to agree to limit temperatures to no more than 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels.
“Some will say to me that this is something that can be decided later at another conference,” Hollande told the General Assembly.
“Well I assure you here, and I am saying this quite candidly, that if we don’t make this decision in Paris it will be not just late. It will be too late for the world.”
Hollande also announced on Monday that France will increase its contribution to helping developing countries tackle climate change from 3 billion euros to five billion euros.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says that informal talks on climate change in New York have revealed broad support for a ‘durable’ deal in Paris.
With emerging economy India’s role crucial, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been meeting leaders including US President Obama, on the sidelines of the General Assembly.
India, the world’s third-largest carbon emitter, is also developing solar power.
But it remains one of the few large economies not yet to have submitted its climate change strategy to the UN.
India argues that its economic growth is crucial to lifting people out of poverty and cannot be sacrificed in the name of sustainable development.