Washington. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued an urgent warning about the global security risks posed by climate change. “Climate change is making the world more dangerous, and we have to act,” Austin said Thursday at US President Joe Biden’s climate summit. “The climate crisis is a deeply destabilizing force of our world.”
Austin added: “Today, no nation can find lasting security without dealing with the climate crisis. In our work, we face all kinds of threats, but only a few of them really deserve to be called my existence.” But this name applies to the climate crisis.
Climate change threatens many regions of the world
Austin pointed to melting Arctic ice and increasing competition for resources and influence in the region. He noted that millions of people in Africa and Central America are at risk of drought, hunger and displacement due to high temperatures and severe weather.
In the Pacific Ocean, sea level rise and more frequent and powerful storms put people at risk. “As families risk their lives in search of safety, mass migration makes them vulnerable to exploitation and extremism, all of which undermines stability.”
Defense is becoming more difficult due to climate change
Austin stressed that climate protection also complicates the armed forces’ mission. In the United States and around the world, the climate crisis has caused “massive damage and endangered people, making it difficult for us to carry out our mission to defend the United States and our allies.”
Biden has invited 40 heads of state and government to attend the two-day online climate summit. The meeting aims to underscore the urgency and economic benefits of stronger climate action en route to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November.