SOURCE: Inside Climate News

DATE: January 30, 2019

SNIP: The nation’s intelligence community warned in its annual assessment of worldwide threats that climate change and other kinds of environmental degradation pose risks to global stability because they are “likely to fuel competition for resources, economic distress, and social discontent through 2019 and beyond.”

Released Tuesday, the Worldwide Threat Assessmentprepared by the Director of National Intelligence added to a swelling chorus of scientific and national security voices in pointing out the ways climate change fuels widespread insecurity and erodes America’s ability to respond to it.

“Climate hazards such as extreme weather, higher temperatures, droughts, floods, wildfires, storms, sea level rise, soil degradation, and acidifying oceans are intensifying, threatening infrastructure, health, and water and food security,” said the report, which represents the consensus view among top intelligence officials. “Irreversible damage to ecosystems and habitats will undermine the economic benefits they provide, worsened by air, soil, water, and marine pollution.”

The United Nations Security Council also held a discussion on Friday devoted to understanding and responding to how climate change acts as a “threat multiplier” in countries where governance is already fragile and resources are sparse.

“Climate change exacerbates vulnerabilities and inequalities, especially in situations of armed conflict, where countries, communities and populations are the least prepared and the least able to protect themselves and adapt,” Robert Mardini, the permanent observer to the UN from the International Committee of the Red Cross, told the Security Council, according to his published remarks. “Conflicts harm the structures and systems that are necessary to facilitate adaptation to climate change.”