CBS News/Yahoo! News
The destabilizing effects of climate change will worsen risks to national security, especially as countries around the world continue haggling over who bears responsibility for reining in emissions, according to a seminal new assessment released Thursday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
"We assess that climate change will increasingly exacerbate risks to US national security interests as the physical impacts increase and geopolitical tensions mount about how to respond to the challenge," the document states. "Intensifying physical effects will exacerbate geopolitical flashpoints, particularly after 2030, and key countries and regions will face increasing risks of instability and need for humanitarian assistance."
The assessment says developing countries are most at risk and the least adaptable to the physical effects of climate change, which could pave the way for "instability and possibly internal conflict." Five of the 11 countries the report identifies as most vulnerable — Afghanistan, Burma, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Colombia and Iraq — are in south and east Asia.
The assessment also deems it "unlikely" that countries committed to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement will meet its goals: "The current pace of transition to low- or zero-emission clean energy sources is not fast enough to avoid temperatures rising above the Paris goal of 1.5 degrees C," it says.