UNITED NATIONS — Climate change could exponentially increase the scale of natural disasters while at the same time threatening world security, a senior UN official told the UN Security Council Wednesday.
Though science cannot yet explain all the reasons behind global warming, “a changing climate is a reality,” and one that effects all sectors of society, said Achim Steiner, director of the UN Environment Program.
Steiner cited a worst-case scenario prediction that temperatures will rise 4 degree Celsius by 2060 while the sea level will rise one meter over the next century.
There are myriad threats already and their numbers will rise, he said, noting droughts like the one currently afflicting Somalia, floods such as the ones that hit Pakistan, and their implications on the food markets.
“The scale of the the natural disasters will increase exponentially,” he added.
Two regions of Southern Somalia, hit by a devastating drought, were declared in a state of famine Wednesday by the United Nations, who called it the worst food crisis in Africa in 20 years and have mobilized efforts to stem the situation before it worsens.
“The signs of climate changing, not only is it happening, it is accelerating,” he added.
The famine and rising sea levels “are all threats to peace and security,” said Steiner. The next climate conference will take place in Durban in December and “must be decisive.”
Developed countries must manage their actions but emerging nations must also play their role and cannot be spectators, he urged.
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