Climate Change Could Lead to Global Conflict, Says Beckett
LONDON - Climate change could spawn a new era of conflicts around the world over water and other scarce resources unless more is done to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett, warned yesterday.
She said climate-driven conflicts were already under way in Africa. Underlying the Darfur crisis, she said, was a “struggle between nomadic and pastoral communities for resources made more scarce through a changing climate”.
Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute in London, Mrs Beckett quoted evidence that a similar conflict was brewing in Ghana where Fulani cattle herdsmen are reportedly arming themselves to take on local farmers in a confrontation over water and land as climate change expands the Sahara desert. The foreign secretary said the Middle East - with 5% of the world’s population but only 1% of its water - would be particularly badly affected, with Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq particularly hard hit by a drop in rainfall.
She said the Nile could lose 80% of its flow into Egypt, a country which would also be threatened by rising sea levels in the Nile delta, its agricultural heartland, where flooding could displace 2 million people, threatening internal stability.