Higher temperatures, droughts and extreme weather related to climate change are likely to fuel international tensions, according to new reports from the US intelligence services, the White House and the US Department of Defense. In particular, the new National Climate Intelligence Assessment has raised alarm that eleven countries - Afghanistan, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Colombia and Iraq - are particularly at risk if the current climate trends will continue.
Increased natural impacts will exacerbate geopolitical hot spots, especially after 2030, and key countries and regions will face increasing risks of instability and the need for humanitarian assistance. The report also warns that “countries will try to protect their economies and look for advantages in developing new technologies. Some countries may also resist change, as more than twenty countries rely on fossil fuels for more than 50 percent of total export revenues, ”BBC News reported. The document argues that "the decline in fossil fuel revenues will further affect the countries of the Middle East, which are predicted to face more serious climate impacts."
Access to water can also be a hotbed of potential problems. “In the Middle East and North Africa, about sixty percent of surface water resources cross borders. Pakistan and India have longstanding water problems. Meanwhile, the Mekong River basin could cause problems between China, Cambodia and Vietnam, ”the newspaper notes.
Moreover, the economic costs of climate change have increased significantly in recent years. “2020 marks a record twenty-two weather and climate disasters, each causing more than $ 1 billion in damage in the United States and more than $ 95 billion in total losses. A record eleven hurricanes hit the shore - seven of them for a billion dollars, ”writes the peer-reviewed medical journal.
Recently, the United Nations confirmed that the concentration of greenhouse gases reached a record level last year. “We have lost our way. We need to redefine our industrial, energy and transport systems and all lifestyles, ”said UN WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, adding that the global community needs to“ skyrocket ”commitments at the COP26 climate change conference starting Sunday.
Climate change will ultimately cause massive food shortages, deadly disasters and disease outbreaks that could potentially eclipse the current death toll from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Lancet in its annual report on health and climate change.