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UN secretary-general urges faster response to global warming, calls it 'existential challenge'

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged governments to speed up slow-moving talks to forge a joint response to global warming.

Ban described climate change as an "existential challenge for the whole human race" as he addressed the opening Tuesday of the high-level segment of annual U.N. climate talks involving environment ministers and climate officials from nearly 200 countries. They're discussing future emissions cuts and climate aid to poor countries.

Pointing to the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy and other weather disasters this year, Ban says the "abnormal" has become the new normal as the world warms, presenting a "crisis, a threat to us all, our economies, our security and the well-being of our children."