NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the U.N. conference on climate change Wednesday that those who would deny global warming or delay taking action against it are "out of step" and "out of time."
"Let no one say we cannot afford to act," Annan declared. The United States, for one, contends that reducing global-warming gases would be too costly to its economy.
The U.N. chief lamented "a frightening lack of leadership" in fashioning next steps in mandatory reductions of global emissions. "I would want leaders around the world to really show courage and to know that if they do, their people and the voters will be with them," he told reporters after his speech.
The chief U.S. delegate, at a later news conference, countered that Washington has been a leader with "groundbreaking initiatives" on clean-energy technology. Those are voluntary programs, not mandatory.