Toward a new world war because of climate change?

unep.jpgThis is the question asked by Le Figaro [Fr] as the United Nations released a report that should urge ALL world leaders to make climate change mitigation their top priority.

According to the UN, many countries in Africa, Asia and Americas might be seriously threatened by wars as their environments deteriorate in many ways.

But these tensions could also spread to neighbouring regions such as Europe or the USA as hundreds of million people would be migrating to more favourable places.

As this United Nations report states :

Combating climate change will be a central peace policy of the 21st century. Unchecked it is likely to aggravate old and trigger new tensions in parts of the world that may spill over into violence, conflict and war a new report concludes.

Areas at increased risk of insecurity include northern and southern Africa alongside countries in the Sahel region and the Mediterranean

Other potential hot spots are central Asia; India, Pakistan and Bangladesh; China; parts of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico and Andean and Amazonian regions of Latin America.

(…) Otherwise climate change, including more extreme weather events; impacts like the melting of glaciers; the drying out of big forest systems and rising numbers of climate refugees is likely to overwhelm the ability of many countries to govern and to cope.

(…) “However, if we can counter climate change and climate proof economies to buffer them against the climatic changes already underway, perhaps the world can unite around these other pressing challenges from reversing the decline of biodiversity and loss of marine resources up to designing a more intelligent, fairer and ultimately sustainable global trade regime”.

As a small picture is worth a thousand words, I propose you a map (right) taken from Le Figaro that clearly shows the main regions that are at risk. I took the liberty to translate the notes.

For more information, I strongly recommend you to read the press release or the full report from the United Nations.

To continue this article I would like to state that the WWF, the famous NGO, released a report stating that :

The past year has seen more weather records smashed as extreme events take a firmer hold of the planet, says WWF at the start of the UN climate change conference.

The overview from the global conservation organization, Breaking Records in 2007 – Climate Change, shows record lows for sea ice cover in the Arctic, some of the worst forest fires ever seen and record floods.

Both events should literally push the world leaders to rapidly decrease global greenhouse gases emissions.

Instead of that, during the Bali convention that is currently taking place, a consensus fails to emerge as the United States simply refuse to put any numbered targets.

The UN, the European Union and 77 developing countries [Le Monde – Fr] are willing to see these targets be part of the final agreement.

To be out of harm’s way, global CO2 emissions should be decreased by 25 to 40 percent by 2020 (compared to 1990 levels).

The EU previously committed itself to decrease by 20-30 percent its own greenhouse gases emissions by 2020. I previously stated that these countries could reach and even over-shoot their Kyoto targets.

Reducing by 25 to 40 percent our greenhouse gases emissions by 2020 is feasible if there is a strong global commitment to do so and that all necessary means are used.

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