MARRAKECH, Morocco, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned here Wednesday that falling short in combating climate change would be "a moral failure, a betrayal of devastating consequences."

In a speech delivered on the sidelines of a United Nations conference of climate change, Kerry urged the international community to work together against climate change.

"If we fall short, it will be the greatest instance in modern history of a generation in a time of crisis, abdicating responsibility for the future," he said. "It won't just be a policy failure; because of the nature of this challenge, it will be a moral failure, a betrayal of devastating consequences."

Kerry highlighted the role of the private sector in coping with the climate issue.

"The private sector is the most important player, and already we're seeing real solutions coming from entrepreneurs and academia," he said. "It's going to be innovators, workers, and business leaders... who will continue to create the technological advances that forever revolutionize the way we power our world."

Kerry called for faster and bolder moves to tackle climate change, stressing the "essential" role of government leadership.

"If we don't go far enough, fast enough, the damage we inflict could take centuries to undo," he said.