UK & World News

  • 17 February 2014, 9:18

Climate Change 'A Weapon Of Mass Destruction'

Secretary of State John Kerry has called climate change "perhaps the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction".

Speaking in Indonesia, the top US diplomat mocked those who deny the existence of climate change, comparing them to people who insist the Earth is flat.

"The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand," Mr Kerry said.

"We don't have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society."

Mr Kerry asked Jakarta to act on climate change.

He spoke a day after the US and China announced an agreement to cooperate more closely on combating climate change.

US officials hope this will help encourage others, including developing countries like Indonesia and India, to follow suit.

"This city, this country, this region, is really on the front lines of climate change," Mr Kerry said.

"It's not an exaggeration to say that your entire way of life here is at risk."

He added: "In a sense, climate change can now be considered the world's largest weapon of mass destruction, perhaps even, the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction."

Mr Kerry has long been an outspoken advocate for the need to act on climate change, and is making it a cornerstone of his policy.

In making his case, he outlined recent weather disasters, particularly flooding and typhoons in Asia, and their impact on commerce, agriculture, fishing and daily living conditions for billions of people.

A top British scientist, Dame Julia Sling of the Met's Office, said recently that climate change is almost certainly to blame for the severe weather that has caused flooding across Britain. 

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.