Climate change is a threat multiplier for instability throughout the world— and the report released this week further illustrates this. Climate change has far-reaching political and economic implications, and poses a serious threat to global security.
The analysis starkly demonstrates that climate change can increase the risk of instability and conflict across the globe. Prolonged and severe droughts have contributed to conflict, from Syria to Mali. Rising seas are already threatening low-lying lands, from Bangladesh to the Pacific and Caribbean Islands. It also underscores that those countries already struggling with fragility and conflict are often those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
The report provides specific recommendations for how governments can address the risks of climate change and fragility through development, foreign policy, and national security efforts. In the United States, we are pushing ourselves to think beyond traditional approaches to consider innovative ways to integrate these types of considerations into all of the work we do— including this week's Strategic & Economic Dialogue with China, where climate change will be a major focus of discussions; and our chairmanship of the Arctic Council, where we will continue to focus on the effects of climate change.
Operational change is needed to counter this global threat, so I'm pleased that the G-7 has established a working group to scrutinize the recommendations presented to enhance international cooperation on climate change and fragility. As we continue our efforts to reach a global climate agreement in Paris in December of this year, we must all commit to tackle these challenges together.