Washington: Climate change belongs to the same list of challenges as terrorism and poverty that "respect no borders", US Secretary of State John Kerry said as he sought global cooperation and urgent action on the growing menace.
"Terrorism, extremism, epidemics, poverty, nuclear proliferation, all challenges that respect no borders, climate change belongs on that very same list. It is, indeed, one of the biggest threats facing our planet today," Kerry said in a major foreign policy speech on climate change at the Atlantic Council, a US think-tank.
"Even top military personnel have designated it as a security threat to not just the United States but the world. No one who has truly considered the science, no one who has truly listened objectively to our national security experts, could reach a different conclusion," Kerry said.
Kerry's remarks came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the issue of climate change in Seychelles and said it "poses a serious threat as terrorism".
In his speech, Kerry said this is a critical year and the challenges posed by climate change requires global cooperation and urgent action.
"Make no mistake, this is a critical year. And that is why this Road to Paris series is so important. The science tells us we still have a window of time to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, but that window is closing quickly," he said.
"We're already in a mode where we're looking at mitigation, not just prevention.
"In December, the world will come together at the UN Climate Conference in Paris, and we will see whether or not we can muster the collective political will to reach an ambitious, comprehensive agreement," he said.
Kerry also said India has joined the climate change challenge as he praised Indian efforts to combat the issue.
"During President Obama's trip to New Delhi early this year, the President affirmed its far-reaching solar energy target, and our two nations agreed on a number of climate and clean energy initiatives. We also committed to working closely together to achieve a successful global agreement in Paris. So India is joined in that challenge," he said.
The State Department later said India and US are working together to address the challenge posed by climate change.
"We work very closely with the Government of India on this issue through the US-India Joint Working Group on Combatting Climate Change. President Obama and Prime Minister Modi expanded the agenda of this working group during their meeting in January," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.
"Specific initiatives with India include cooperation on clean energy, a Department of Energy-led initiative on smart cities, expansion of our existing cooperation. We look forward to continuing to build on these efforts, but obviously we've made great progress in recent months with India," she said.