Leaders gathered in the Swiss ski resort of Davos have made it a top priority to push to reshape the global economy and cut global warming by shifting to cleaner energy sources.
UN climate chief Christiana Figueres says the world economy is at risk unless a binding climate deal is agreed in Paris in 2015 to lower heat-trapping carbon emissions from coal and oil.
Figueres told The Associated Press "the signal to the global economy needs to be stronger than it is right now" to shift to sustainable energy and stabilise warming at a level that will avoid the worst consequences of climate change.
South Korea's President Park Geun-hye told the forum "the world must act as one" to tackle climate and environmental challenges.
The head of a leading international economic body says the post-crisis period is likely to be a "cut-throat" business as everyone tries to recover the ground lost during the last few years.
Angel Gurria, the secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said on Wednesday that "everybody's going to try to recover the jobs they lost, the welfare well-being they lost, the exports they lost and they are going to recover it in the shortest period of time."
In an Associated Press interview at the World Economic Forum, Gurria says the global recovery is "patchy" and that governments have to make sure the spoils are spread through society.
He says they have to leave room in their spending to help those that are "effectively victims of the crisis."