U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told members of the European Parliament that a collaborative effort was needed to address environmental issues.
"No nation, no group, no region can do it alone," he said in a statement. "If we share in the burden, we will share in the benefits."
European leaders are calling for a balanced set of decisions to find a common environmental agreement at the next international climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, in November.
Global climate negotiations remain deadlocked after the Copenhagen climate summit last year ended without a binding climate protection agreement.
Ban said that while it was easy for alarmists to point to the summer fires in Russia and the rain-fed flooding in Pakistan, it was important that the international community not "avert our eyes from what is plain to see."
The secretary-general in his statement called on European community to push ahead with its financial pledges to help developing countries tackle climate change.
"Europe can be the locomotive, driving it forward," he said.