President Barack Obama is calling on the nations of the world to rise to the challenge of climate change.
Addressing the United Nations Climate Change Summit this morning, Obama said his administration has made the "largest-ever" American investment in renewable energy.
He said the United States was slow to recognize the dangers of climate change, but is swiftly catching up. And he encouraged other nations to do the same.
"We understand the gravity of the climate threat. We are determined to act. And we will meet our responsibility to future generations," said the president.The president also presided over a handshake between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority at the United Nations today.
At the start of the leaders' first joint meeting since Netanyahu took office in March, Obama urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to do more to make Mideast peace talks possible.
George Mitchell, Obama's Middle Eastern envoy, is expected to return to the region for another round of mediation next week, and Israeli and Palestinian envoys are planning to come to Washington, D.C.
Obama said he expects a progress report in mid-October.
The president also met with President Hu Jintao of China and made a speech at the Clinton Global Initiative today.
This week's General Assembly brings a number of street closures to the East Side. View the complete list of streets affected.
Ahead of today's hectic day in the city, the president sat down with David Letterman last night.Obama's appearance on last night's "Late Show" marked the first time a sitting president appeared on the show.
Letterman asked Obama if he believes racism is a factor in the criticism over his health care plan.
"First of all, I think it's important to realize that I was actually black before the election," he joked.
"Really?" responded Letterman. "How long have you been a black man?"
The president also apologized to New Yorkers for the traffic congestion this week's U.N. General Assembly is causing.