Kerry: Climate Change Just As Threatening As Terrorism

Ahead of global talks to set new carbon emission standards, the U.S. Secretary of State urged nations to stop incentivizing the use of fossil fuels.
Posted at 1:58 PM, Feb 16, 2014

America's top diplomat hopes to bring renewed international attention to climate change. Here's John Kerry in Jakarta, Indonesia Sunday. (Via U.S. Department of State)

KERRY: "Terrorism, epidemics, poverty, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction ... The reality is that climate change ranks right up there with every single one of them." (Via BBC)

The speech comes during Kerry's last stop in a three-nation Asia tour. The U.S. Secretary of State also asked governments worldwide to stop incentivizing use of fossil fuel energy like coal. (Via Euronews)

Saturday in Beijing, Kerry announced that the U.S. and China had agreed to share information on how they're fighting climate change. Together, the two nations make up about 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. (Via U.S. State Department)

Indonesia, also, is one of the world's biggest carbon emitters. That's likely part of the reason Kerry chose the country as the backdrop for his big climate change speech. But another reason? The fact that Pacific island and southeast Asian nations like Indonesia stand to lose a lot from global warming.

Certain island nations are expected to be wiped out altogether if sea levels continue to rise. That includes Kiribati, profiled here by Businessweek, and Tuvalu, an island several hundred miles east that's ceding more and more land to rising sea levels. (Via United Nations Development Programme)

Kerry's speech will help outline the U.S. agenda heading into United Nations climate talks set to begin in 2015. The point of those talks is to set goals for post-2020 carbon emissions. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Murali Mohan Gurram, Wikimedia Commons / Uwe Hermann)

That would essentially replace the Kyoto Protocol emissions standards, set to run out in 2020. That protocol was agreed to by most of the Western world but not the U.S., which rejected it under George W. Bush's administration.