Climate change has threatened both developing and developed worlds. They say: don’t drink water when in developing countries, and don’t breathe air when in developed countries. An international think tank has called upon developing countries to control population because the rapidly rising numbers would make it difficult to provide food for all. The reduction in food availability and increasing exposure to natural disasters are expected to cause displacement of one billion people by 2050.
The Ecological Threat Register of the Institute for Economics and Peace bases its prediction about which countries and regions are more at risk using data from the UN and other sources. It has also assessed ecological threats, namely: food insecurity; water shortage; population growth; and natural disasters, including floods, droughts, cyclones, rising sea level and rising temperature. With the world population forecast to rise to 10 billion by 2050, it might intensify the scramble for resources and fuel conflict. Nearly 1.2 billion people living in sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East could be forced to migrate in the next 30 years. Ecological factors related to climate change and conflict led to the displacement of around 30 million people in 2019. Some experts believe a drought in Syria caused by global warming led to the outbreak of the civil war, which forced many to migrate.
The problems emanating from population explosion will have social and political impacts for both developing and developed worlds as large-scale displacement will lead to larger refugee flows to developed countries. The analysis of the data says India and China will be more threatened by increasing water shortage in the coming decades while Pakistan, Iran, Mozambique, Kenya and Madagascar face a dangerous combination of threats with a diminishing ability to deal with them. The think tank says its efforts are aimed at convincing countries of the need to allocate more funds to combat the impacts of climate change.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2020.