In a bleak assessment, the US intelligence community has warned that international tension will increase due to climate change. The 1st ever National Intelligence Estimate on climate change found out the impact of climate on national security through to 2040. How to respond the countries will argue. As per the National Intelligence Estimate, the effects will be most felt in emerging countries. These are the countries that are less able to adapt.
The 27-page assessment is the collective view of all 18 US intelligence agencies. It is their 1st analysis of how climate will impact national security. The reports show the international level of incorporation among the countries, which would lead to dangerous instability and competition. This assessment has been issued just ahead of President Joe Biden attending next month’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, seeking international agreement.
The report warns that countries will try to defend their economies and seek advantages in developing new technology. Some companies can insist on the desire to act. More than 20 countries rely on fossil fuels for greater than 50% of total export revenues. “A decline in fossil fuel revenue would further strain Middle Eastern countries that are projected to face more intense climate effects,” the report says. People worldwide will feel the impact of climate change.
Eleven countries and two regions are identified by the US intelligence community where energy, food, water and health security are at particular risk. These countries are emerging countries and less able to adapt, increasing the chances of instability and internal conflict. Electricity supply could be affected by heat waves and drought. Five of the 11 countries are in South and East Asia; four countries are in Central America and the Caribbean. Colombia and Iraq are the others. Central Africa and small states in the Pacific are also at risk.
Particularly in the form of refugee flows, instability could spill out. In the US southern border, this could create pressure and new humanitarian demands could be created. The Arctic will be more accessible because of reducing ice, and this accessibility will open access to fish stocks and new shipping routes. Water access will also be a source of problems.
To counter climate change, a country might decide to use geoengineering, which is another risk source. This involves using futuristic technology. But if one country acts alone, it could simply shift the problem to another region. Researchers in several countries are looking at these techniques, but there are few rules or regulations.
Climate is now a central part of security thinking, and that it will heighten existing problems and create new ones. The government has started to recognize climate change is a threat to national security. Countries face compounding climate risks, from rising sea levels affecting millions of people in coastal cities, flooding in its interior that threatens energy infrastructure, and desertification and migrating fish stocks that undermine its food security. This assignment sets out a new problem that lies ahead. But the question that arises here is what policymakers do about this warning.