Kerry urges action on climate changeUpdated: 2014-02-17 16:35:59 KST
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on all nations to respond to what he said is "the greatest challenge of our generation" -- climate change.
In a speech to Indonesian students, civic leaders and government officials in Jakarta on Sunday, Kerry said man-made climate change could threaten our entire way of life, adding it can now be considered a natural "weapon of mass destruction," and stressed that every person and every country must take responsibility for the problem and act immediately.
He also said there is scientific evidence that global warming is threatening not only the environment, but also the world economy.
He outlined recent weather disasters, particularly flooding and typhoons in Asia, and their impact on commerce, agriculture, fishing and daily life for billions of people.
He added that warming sea temperatures could have a negative affect on Indonesia's fishing industry, while rising sea levels could put much of the country under water.
He cited a recent report by the UN's climate panel that said 95 percent of scientists are certain that humans have been the "dominant cause" of global warming since the 1950s.
The report argued that greenhouse gas emissions will further contribute to the Earth's rising temperatures and changes in all aspects of the climate system.
The solution, Kerry says, is a new global energy policy that shifts reliance from fossil fuels to cleaner technologies.
On Saturday, the U.S. and China issued a joint statement saying they had reached an agreement to cooperate more closely to curb greenhouse gases, including reducing vehicle emissions and improving the energy efficiency of buildings.
Kerry was in Indonesia on the last leg of a three-nation tour of Asia that took him to Korea and then China.
After leaving Indonesia on Monday, he will travel on to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
Sohn Jung-in, Arirang News.