Rising sea levels could spark conflict over energy and food reserves

January 8th, 2009 - 3:23 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 8 (ANI): The Australian military has claimed that rising sea levels caused by climate change are threatening to destabilize island nations and spark conflict across the world over energy and food reserves.

According to a report in the Telegraph, a report by the Australian military revealed that environmental stress had increased the risk of conflicts over food and resources in the region.

It predicted warmer temperatures would change the location of South East Asian fishing grounds, leading to conflict over fishing rights, and lead to an increase in climate refugees fleeing the Pacifics sinking atolls.

Environmental changes would reinforce existing concerns regarding land availability, economic development and control over resources, the report added, multiplying the threats faced by fragile states and increasing the chance they would fail.

But, the biggest threat to global security was the melting Arctic ice caps, which would give rise to a potentially dangerous international race for valuable sea oil and gas deposits, the report said.

The Arctic is melting, potentially making the extraction of undersea energy deposits commercially viable. Conflict is a remote possibility if these disputes are not resolved peacefully, it added.

Climate change has already been linked to the escalating fight for the worlds natural resources, including an increasingly precious commodity dry land.

In November 2008, the newly elected president of the Maldives announced his country would begin to set aside a portion of its billion-dollar annual tourist revenue to buy a new homeland because rising seas were threatening to turn the 300,000 islanders into environmental refugees.

Also, resource-hungry nations are already snapping up large tracts of agricultural land in poor Asian and African nations.

High global oil and commodity prices, the biofuels boom and the economic downturn are prompting import-reliant countries to take action to protect their sources of food.

China and South Korea, which are both short on arable land, have signed up the rights to swathes of territory in Asia and Africa.

The report, into the effects of climate change by Australias Defence Force, predicted that disputes over access to scarce food resources could mean increasing the country’’s navy in the seas to its north.

It added that climate change would increase demands for the Australian Defence Force to be deployed on additional stabilization, post-conflict reconstruction and disaster relief operations in the future. (ANI)

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