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Leaders agree on importance of climate negoti -

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No-one is calling it a breakthrough, but world leaders appear to have taken a step closer to
accepting the need for a global deal on climate change. One-hundred of them have gathered at the UN
in New York in a session dedicated to curbing global warming.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: No one is calling it a breakthrough, but world leaders appear to have taken
a step closer to a global deal on climate change. 100 of them have gathered at the UN in New York
in a session dedicated to curbing global warming.

From the poorest nations to the richest, and the biggest carbon emitters, most speakers at the
gathering stressed their determination to negotiate ahead of the Copenhagen summit in December.

From New York, North America correspondent Lisa Millar.

LISA MILLAR, NORTH AMERICA CORRESPONDENT: New York streets were gridlocked, the city was shutdown
for this extraordinary gathering. 100 presidents and prime ministers met on the floor of the United
Nations for the biggest leaders meeting on climate change in history. And the Secretary General
left no doubt about his expectations.

BAN-KI MOON, UN SECRETARY GENERAL: Failure to reach broad agreement in Copenhagen would be morally
inexcusable, economically short-sighted and politically unwise.

LISA MILLAR: It might be the home of diplomacy but the speeches today were frank and candid. The
island nations who face decimation from rising sea levels made a heartfelt plea.

MOHAMMED NASHEED, MALDIVES PRESIDENT: We will not live. We will die. Our country will not exist. We
cannot make Copenhagen a pact for suicide.

LISA MILLAR: That was the message for the world's two biggest polluters America and China.

BARACK OBAMA, US PRESIDENT: We understand the gravity of the climate threat. We are determined to
act and we will meet our responsibility to future generations.

LISA MILLAR: China's Hu Jintao promised he would work with the international community but
developing countries like his shouldn't be expected to reach the same targets as others.

HU JINTAO, CHINESE PRESIDENT (TRANSLATION): We should make our endeavour on climate change a
win-win for both developed and developing countries and a win-win for both the interests of
individual countries and the common interest of humanity.

LISA MILLAR: There are still many hurdles facing these leaders as they try to reach agreement and
the talks in Copenhagen, where they're meant to sign the final deal, are now less than 80 days
away.

There's been enormous pressure for nations to find some kind of breakthrough.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: The world needs a grand bargain between developed economies and
developing economies.

LISA MILLAR: Kevin Rudd has played a prominent role here. at the opening of the Clinton Global
Initiative, the former President showered him with praise onstage.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER US PRESIDENT: In my opinion, he is one of the most well-informed, well read,
intelligent leaders of today.

LISA MILLAR: But even those talents may not be enough to find a breakthrough on an issue that is
proving to be extraordinarily fraught.

Lisa Millar, Lateline.