An unprecedented, wide-ranging assessment released Thursday warns the climate crisis will exacerbate long-standing threats to security around the world.
The collection of reports, including the first-ever National Intelligence Assessment on climate change, focuses on the U.S. government response to the climate crisis — specifically, how its impacts like drought and extreme storms will cause hardship, displacement, and thus geopolitical instability. It also warns of tensions in petrostates as demand for oil and gas falls.
The assessment also called for “individualized humanitarian protection” in the U.S. for people forced to flee their homes because of the ravages of the climate crisis. “Much of the carbon emissions driving climate change have come from rich nations but the consequences are being borne disproportionately by the poor,” Teevrat Garg, an economics professor at UC-San Diego who specializes in climate migration, told the New York Times. As a result, wealthy countries have “an obligation to support climate refugees.”