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UN’s Guterres: Climate change increases risk of violent conflict

The effects of climate change threaten to further escalate problems in regions that are already unstable or in conflict, warned UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday.

The effects of climate change threaten to further escalate problems in regions that are already unstable or in conflict, warned UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday.

“It is clear that climate change and environmental mismanagement are risk multipliers where coping capacities are limited,” he told a high-level UN Security Council meeting on climate and security.

Dependence on dwindling resources, such as water, could exacerbate tensions on the ground, he said, but added that these problems could be counteracted through measures taken by the council and others.

“Climate adaptation and peace-building can and should reinforce each other,” he said.

Various members of the powerful UN body have taken up the issue in the past, for example by trying to implement an early warning system for conflicts caused by the climate crisis, among other actions.

However, there has so far not been enough support in the council.

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