Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Climate Change as a Security Risk

UN warns on climate change-related conflict
"We allow conflicts to arise and then invest a lot in peace-building afterwards,” Achim Steiner, the head of [UN Environment Programme], told the Financial Times. “What this report is saying is to invest in preventing some of this from happening and you will have a far lower human and economic cost. You risk also far less conflict in the world and that means preparing your governance for these kinds of scenarios."

"It’s not just a question of ice melting in 30 years. If you look at food inflation running at 18 per cent in China [this year] on the back of Australia’s drought that’s increasing wheat prices, it is happening now." [British official]

Africa: Climate Change - Heating Up Conflict
Increasing pressure caused by climate change on essential resources like water could not only trigger domestic conflicts but also have a destabilising effect globally, warn UN officials. [(my emphasis)...] "We are not trying to depoliticise the [Darfur] conflict," said Steiner, "[but] we need to learn, to understand, that if we had taken into account some of the factors [related to climate change], we could have avoided some of the conflicts that have exploded. [...] If we look at South Asia alone, the melting [glaciers would mean] tens of millions of people will have to leave their livelihoods. Where will they go? How will they impact on the host communities that receive them?" said Steiner. "We must look at the potential security threat posed by these changes - we cannot bury our heads in the sand."

Both articles are essentially about the release of the report Climate Change as a Security Risk. According to a quick Google search it sells for "only £67.50". Fortunately, it also turns up Climate Change as a Security Risk - Summary for Policy-Makers.

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