Climate change proponents in the United Kingdom believe that global warming poses “an immediate, growing and grave threat” to health and security around the world.
In anticipation of the U.N.’s annual climate conference in six weeks, the British Medical Journal and a handful of military experts partnered on Monday to discuss what they believe will be the effects of global warming on societies around the world.
Among the environmental consequences the group said would be resultant of lacking action on the part of developed countries are extreme weather events, loss of habitat for humans, water and food shortages and threats to livelihood.
A statement issued by the group and signed by a number of European medical and military officials says that climate change will lead to mass migrations of human beings, causing worldwide security threats.
The group urges “modest lifestyle changes” like reducing dependence on automobiles as personal ways to reduce the chance that their dismal predictions will materialize. For U.N. member governments, however, the suggestions are a little more ambitious.
The group asks the following of world governments:
- The European Union to unconditionally agree a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions domestically by 30 percent by 2020.
- Developed countries to adopt more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets, to increase their support for low carbon development and to invest in further research into the impact of climate change on health and security.
- All governments to enact legislative and regulatory change to stop the building of new unabated coal-fired power stations and phase out the continuing operation of existing plants.
- A mechanism ensuring that all people can share equitably the benefits of a safe atmosphere without penalizing those with the least historical responsibility for climate change must be established.
- All governments to incorporate the U.N. Security Council Presidential statement from July 20 on the potential consequences of climate change on security.
- All governments to strive to adopt climate change mitigation targets and policies that are more ambitious than their international commitments.