MARCH 23 2012 13:25h

Change climate debate, London says

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LONDON, March 23 (UPI) -- The international community needs to rewire its economy for green energy and stop politicizing the debate, the British energy secretary said.

British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey said, during a London conference on climate security, that the international community faces a problem of awareness and understanding when it comes to climate security.

"For too many people, climate security is about making sure you always have an umbrella with you," he said. "The reality, of course, is rather more serious."

Davey warned that it's easy for communities not immediately at risk from natural disasters and extreme weather events to disregard the dangers.

If the global community is expected to move to a low-carbon economy, he said, the economy and the debate need to be reconfigured.

"We need to reframe the debate; to get away from the sometimes fraught politics, and start painting a picture of climate change as the security community see it," he said.

"Not as a political football, or a far-off possibility; but as a threat multiplier."

Climate security, he added, is more than extreme weather.

"A more unstable climate, with rising temperatures and more frequent and intense weather events, could affect the most fundamental aspects of our shared security: food, water and trade," he said.