Saturday, April 12, 2008

Will societies bend, or snap?

Asian Tribune, via IPS: A new risk-analysis of the negative consequences of climate change warns of potential "devastation and violence (worldwide) jeopardizing national and international security to a new degree." The threats to international security and stability, says the study, could be triggered by a possible increase in the number of weak and fragile states, directly resulting from global warming.

The report, titled "Climate Change as a Security Risk" and released by the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), identifies several areas with "potential for political crisis and migratory pressure". These include North Africa; the Sahel zone; Southern Africa; Central Asia; China; Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico; India, Pakistan and Bangladesh; and the Andean region and Amazonia.

The study found six primary threats to international stability and security: an increase in the number of weak and fragile states; risks for global economic development; growing international distributional conflicts; risk to human rights and the industrialized countries' legitimacy as global governance actors; intensification of migration and; failure of disaster management systems.

"The greater the scale of climate change, the greater the probability that in the coming decades, climate-induced conflict constellations will impact not only on individual countries or sub-regions but also on the global governance system as a whole," said the study, released last week at a seminar co-sponsored by WBGU and the New York Office of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation of Germany….

The Bulgarian army waits to attack Adrianople, 1912, Wikimedia Commons

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