Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak made an urgent appeal to delegates gathered for the annual U.N. General Assembly. Rising sea levels attributed in part to melting sea ice and warmer temperature trends are threatening low-lying countries.
He called for an end to "all-too predictable finger pointing" that occurs during international debates over climate treaties.
Unilateral interests in natural resource development have stalled various treaties aimed at curbing the effects of greenhouse gas emissions.
"If multilateralism is to have any credibility, then we must move to an emergency footing and those countries with the greatest capacity must immediately begin mobilizing the significant resources necessary to remake the energy infrastructure that powers the global economy," Loeak said.
His comments follow a report from a U.S. research institution that said the polar ice cap was smaller than the previous record low size. The National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., reported the polar ice cap measured about 1.3 million square miles last weekend, 18 percent less than the previous record reported in 2007.