The ND-GAIN Index, which ranks countries according to both their exposure to climate change and their readiness to adapt, show some of the world’s poorest countries are a full century behind the wealthiest, in terms of preparedness, putting not only millions of people but private assets at risk as well.
The ND-GAIN Index launched at the Wilson Center on December 12 during a two-day conference focused on security and the private sector’s role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. “We’re seeing new shifts in the way the world focuses its attention,” said former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Thomas R. Pickering. “Certainly economics, over the last dozen years, has become as much of a center pivot of international activities and action
as the traditional role of political diplomacy and indeed national security. And of course, the truth is, they’re intimately linked and intertwined.”
Marcus King, director of research at the George Washington Elliott School of International Affairs, dubbed climate change an “instability accelerant” and identified three “mega-trends” that could threaten national security over the next 20 years: uneven demographic growth, climate change-induced scarcity (especially water scarcity), and the rise of violent extremists. “These trends converge most alarmingly in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa,” he explained.
...Still, “it’s really hard to forecast something like armed conflict,” said Patrick Regan, professor of international relations at the University of Notre Dame. “We just don’t know enough about the drivers of civil war to do that effectively, in a way like you can population or income.”...