US Secretary of State John Kerry made an impassioned plea on Wednesday (December 11) for all nations to work for an ambitious UN deal next year to fight climate change, saying time was running out.

"Every nation, and I repeat this as we hear the debates going back and forth here, every nation has a responsibility to do its part if we're going to pass this test, and only those nations who step up and respond to this threat can legitimately lay claim to any mantle of leadership and global responsibility," he said in a speech at United Nations talks in Lima that are trying to sketch out elements of a draft 190-nation deal due in Paris in late 2015 to curb rising world greenhouse gas emissions.