17 Feb 2014

Kerry calls for climate change action

10:32 am on 17 February 2014

US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged the global community to act against climate change, saying there is scientific proof it is threatening not only the environment, but also the world economy.

Speaking during a visit to Indonesia, Mr Kerry said the window of time was still open to prevent the worst consequences, but that it was closing.

US Secretary of State John Kerry.

US Secretary of State John Kerry. Photo: AFP

The United States, along with China, is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, the BBC reports. On Saturday, both nations issued a joint statement pledging to do more to curb their carbon dioxide output, including reducing car emissions and improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

Mr Kerry said nations with bigger emissions had to do more to help solve the problem but that did not mean other nations had a free pass.

He said countries with lower emissions must not repeat the mistakes of the past.

In his Jakarta speech, Mr Kerry underscored the way in which climate change is affecting Asian countries and highlighted the possible effects on the global economy, including "potentially catastrophic effects" on the global supply chain.

He warned against "complacency", pointing out that last year carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reached their highest ever level.