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US puts India, 10 others on list of ‘countries of concern’ on climate

The US has categorised India as a ‘country of concern’ along with 10 others that in the assessment of the American intelligence community will bear the brunt of global warming.
A farmer prepares to spread fertiliser in his maize field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India. The US report said the intelligence community assessed that 11 countries are likely to face “warming temperatures, more extreme weather, and disruption to ocean patterns that will threaten their energy, food, water, and health security”. (REUTERS)
Published on Oct 21, 2021 11:01 PM IST
ByYashwant Raj I Edited by Amit Chanda

The United States has categorised India as a ‘country of concern’ along with 10 others that in the assessment of the American intelligence community will bear the brunt of global warming that could include intensifying and more frequent heat waves and droughts and water and power scarcity.

The other countries on the list are Afghanistan, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Pakistan, Nicaragua, Colombia, Myanmar and North Korea.

The first-ever National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on climate was put together by the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversee 16 intelligence agencies. The report, which was released on Thursday, has also named two regions of concern, countries on the African continent.

“The IC (Intelligence Community) identified 11 countries and two regions of concern from the threat from climate change,” the report said, adding, “Building resilience in these countries and region would probably be especially helpful in mitigating future risks to US interests.”

The report said the intelligence community assessed that these countries are likely to face “warming temperatures, more extreme weather, and disruption to ocean patterns that will threaten their energy, food, water, and health security”.

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Intensifying and more frequent heat waves and droughts will in turn “create water supply volatility and probably strain their electric utility operations, while growing economies and populations will increase electricity demands to handle rising temperatures”.

More frequent and intense cyclones are likely to contaminate water sources and increase vector populations and the diseases they transmit in several of the 11 countries, the report said. It went on to say that projection models suggest that the incidence of dengue will probably increase in India, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, and Pakistan.

These 11 countries including India will “lack” the financial resources or governance capacity to adapt to climate change effects, the report said, which, will heighten the “risk of instability-induced migration and displacement flows” including to the US southern border and raise their already high level of foreign aid and humanitarian assistance.

The US intelligence community also names other countries that are “comparatively more exposed and have fewer resources to adapt to climate change effects”. These countries are China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.

In a separate fact-sheet, the White House said, “Climate change will increasingly exacerbate a number of risks to US national security interests, from physical impacts that could cascade into security challenges, to how countries respond to the climate challenge. While the IC judges that all of these risks will increase and that no country will be spared from challenges directly related to climate change.”

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