The head of the United Nations has warned that humanity has never faced a greater challenge than climate change as world leaders gathered in New York a high-level climate summit.

In his opening address to the UN talks, secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon warned the dreams of humanity hung in the balance.

“To ride this storm we need all hands on deck,” he said. “The human environmental and financial cost of climate change is fast becoming unbearable.”

US president Barack Obama said despite the present threats of terrorism, instability and disease, climate change would define the contours of the century more dramatically than any other issue.

Country commitments

Barbados: 29 per cent of electricity will be green by 2029

Denmark: Aims to be fossil fuel free by 2050

Georgia: Aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050

Ireland: Reduce greenhouse gases by 80 per cent by 2050

Mexico: More than one third of electricity-generating capacity

Ethiopia: Zero net emissions by 2025

France: One billion USD to the green climate fund over the next few years

Iceland: Commitment to become an entirely fossil free economy

Korea: Next year it will become the first Asian country with a national carbon trading scheme

Chile: 45 per cent of energy to be green by 2025

Finland: Phasing out coal in power stations by 2025

Monaco: Goal to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050

Costa Rica: 100 per cent of energy to be green

Indonesia: Will cut emissions by 26 per cent by 2020 and says that will rise to 40 per cent with international help

Brunei: 63 per cent reduction in energy consumption by 2035

EU: Committed to cutting emissions by 80 to 95 per cent by 2050

UK: On track to cut emissions by 80 per cent by 2050

China: Reiterated commitment to cut carbon intensity by 40 to 45 per cent of 2005 levels by 2020, committed $US6 million to advance South-South cooperation on climate change

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-24/un-says-climate-change-biggest-ever-threat-to-humanity/5764636

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