U.K. Minister: Global Warming Can Increase War and Terrorism
Global warming represents perhaps the greatest challenge to stability and security in the world, by increasing the risk of war, conflict and terrorism, Bill Rammell, the U.K.’s Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, warned at an international climate change conference yesterday.
“Who, hand on heart, can say for sure that countries wouldn’t decide to use armed force to ensure that their citizens had access to life-giving resources taken away by their neighbors?” he asked the audience of politicians, military officers and defense officials from Britain and Japan. “It’s not difficult to imagine how the ‘have-nots’ could be radicalized by someone saying, ‘Those rich western countries created global warming, and now they are buying up the world’s food stocks, leaving us to starve.’”
“We know all too well that it doesn’t take many radicals to disrupt our way of life – and that borders, or even oceans, are no barrier to those bent on killing innocent people and damaging our way of life,” he added.
Mr. Rammell also predicted a ten-fold increase in piracy as suffering populations seized scarce resources form the high seas.
Last year, Britain’s National Security Strategy discussed the potential impact on security that climate change was capable of bringing about.
“Climate change is potentially the greatest challenge to global stability and security, and therefore to national security,” said the report, ‘Security in an Interdependent World’. “Tackling its causes, mitigating its risks and preparing for and dealing with its consequences are critical to our future security, as well as protecting global prosperity and avoiding humanitarian disaster.”
“We see climate change as a threat multiplier that could tip fragile states over the edge – particularly developing nations, with weak democracies,” said Mr Rammell. “We’d be foolish to think that rich, island nations such as ours will be immune from such issues.”