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“Rich countries will need to do more than poor countries, that is clear,” EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard told The AP. “But all of us will have to do the maximum we can because otherwise we can’t cope with climate change.”

How to divide the burden of emissions cuts is at the core of discussions to create a new global climate treaty that would apply to all nations. The only binding pact so far, the Kyoto Protocol, only covers the emissions of industrialized countries. Last year, governments agreed to reach a deal by 2015 that would go into effect by 2020.

“This deadline must be met. There is no time to waste, no time to lose for us,” Ban said.

“Climate change is happening much, much faster than one would understand,” he added. “The science has plainly made it clear: it is the human beings’ behavior which caused climate change, therefore the solution must come from us.”

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Associated Press writer Karl Ritter contributed to this report.

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Michael Casey is reachable at https://twitter.com/mcasey1 and Karl Ritter at http://www.twitter.com/karl_ritter