A recent report from the Pentagon lists 32 countries where the effects of climate change extend much farther than environmental degradation—the impacts could include increased terrorism and violence due to resource and food insecurity.
Changing weather patterns are projected to increase drought conditions and alter crop cycles in nations worldwide, but some countries that will be most greatly impacted environmentally already experience increased violence when similar problems arise. Based on the seventh annual “Climate Change and Environmental Risk Atlas” released by Maplecroft, the Pentagon examines climate change as a national security issue and names 32 countries where climate change is likely to cause civil unrest due to factors such as poverty, migration, and food production, which all commonly stress the social stability of developing nations. The top ten countries listed (here by rank) with extreme risk of vulnerability to food insecurity and climate change are:
2. Sierra Leone
3. South Sudan
The report highlights the example of Nigeria, where the social unrest due to food and water insecurity led to the rise of the militant group Boko Haram, which has been responsible for more than 5,000 deaths since 2009. Also noted are the climate-related roots of civil unrest in Syrian conflict and the violence in Darfur, which the UN recognizes began as an ecological issue caused by climate change.
Read more about the report from the Climate Desk at Mother Jones.