U.N. warns on climate change

July 21, 2011 at 8:01 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, July 21 (UPI) -- Global climate change constitutes a major threat for future world peace and security, a United Nations official says.

Climate change could also be the cause of an "exponentially" increased scale of natural disasters, Achim Steiner of the U.N. Environment Program said following a U.N. declaration of famine in parts of Somalia, the BBC reported Thursday.

A U.N. Security Council statement asserting the links between climate change and security concerns, backed by Western nations, was rejected at first by Russia, which later agreed to a weaker text.

Russian envoy Alexander Pankin said he was skeptical about the implications of putting climate change on the security council's agenda but agreed to a statement of the "possible security implications" of climate change.

Recent crises, such as the famine in Somalia, show "our capacity to handle these kinds of events is proving a challenge, particularly if they occur simultaneously and start affecting, for instance, global food markets, regional food security issues, displacing people, creating refugees across borders," Steiner said.

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