US military says climate change poses security threat

Published: Thursday 31 May 2007

just after the uk termed climate change a threat to security, the us on April 16, said climate change poses a threat to national security. "Climate change acts as a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world," says a report by the us military advisory board comprising 11 former senior officers.

Climate change, national security and energy dependence are global challenges that increase tension even in stable regions, says the report. It also says some of the us military installations in vulnerable islands may be at risk of climate change, says the report. It says the us should assist nations at risk build capacity to cope with climate change.

The us reference to security threat has drawn flak from many who accuse the us of mixing environmental concerns with military issues. "They are pushing their agenda of forcing developing countries to agree to emission cuts," says R K Sethi, director, (Climate Change), Union ministry of environment and forests. "They may use this to pressure developing countries. But we can use it to turn the responsibility onto them," says Desai. Many doubt the focus of the report. "Vulnerability is the word, not security threat. This gives the impression that some entity is a threat to another," says Nitin Desai former un under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs. "What will they do about the issue? Talking about governmental failure in vulnerable countries is not enough. The solution is in reduction of green house gases. Are they serious about emission cuts?" he asks.

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