Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Climate change sows seeds of escalating violence

TEAR Fund Press Release:

For Immediate Release: 02/11/06

Climate change sows seeds of escalating violent conflict

An increase in violent conflict and a refugee crisis will result from the impact of global warming on water supplies in poor countries unless urgent action is taken, says a new report from relief and development agency TEAR Fund.

TEAR Fund’s report is calling for Climate Change Minister David Parker, who is representing New Zealand at the UN Climate Change conference in Nairobi next week (Nov 6-17), to lobby all nations to move towards a global framework for cutting carbon emissions that goes beyond the existing Kyoto Protocol, and to commit billions more dollars to help poor countries adapt to climate change.

The report, Feeling the Heat, states climate change is sowing the seeds of violent conflict, as people battle for control of increasingly scarce resources. It cites examples of where this catalyst for conflict has already begun:

Environmental damage, exacerbated by climate change, has been a significant factor in the devastating civil war in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Botswana, Namibia and Angola have been at loggerheads over the Okavango basin. Tensions arose when Namibia proposed to pipe water from the river to its capital amid worsening droughts.

India has built an immense border fence to prevent illegal immigration from Bangladesh, where melting glaciers in the Himalayas are causing the Ganges to flood.

TEAR Fund’s report states: “As environmental migrants start to cross borders in search of water security, the crisis becomes political. So-called ‘water wars’ have already marred international relations in several regions: climate change and potential influxes of refugees will only increase tensions.”

‘Feeling the Heat’ predicts water is likely to be a source of conflict in Africa in the future because river channels and basins make up 40% of international borders.

Says Stephen Tollestrup, Executive Director of TEAR Fund: “Water stress is already a fertile breeding ground for conflict, and as climate change exacerbates this situation the potential for ‘water wars’ and a refugee crisis increases.”

According to the report, there are already an estimated 25 million ‘environmental refugees’ globally. Without action of climate change, this number could soon read 200 million.

In the report’s foreword, Sir John Houghton, former Chair of the Scientific Assessment Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says that politicians’ strong words on climate change must now be matched by sufficient investment and strong action to cut global emissions, and help for the poorest nations adapt to climate change on their doorstep. A key to this will be helping poorer nations manage existing water supplies better.

Says Sir John: “The UN climate change conference in Nairobi is an opportunity for failings to be addressed. Time is running out on us and Governments need to act much more responsibly, effectively and quickly.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election