Climate change poses increasing threats to international security, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on opening the Berlin Climate and Security Conference in the German capital on Tuesday.
“The fight against the security consequences of climate change demands a global effort,” Maas said, adding that Germany intended to play a leading role here.
The effects of climate change went well beyond environmental concerns, he said. “In many parts of the world, climate change poses a threat to peace and security.”
Germany intended to become more deeply involved and would rely on cooperation with other countries and early warning systems to recognize dangers and deal with them.
Emphasizing German advocacy of a multilateral approach to global problems, Maas said the United Nations needed to be strengthened, with climate, peace and security seen together.
He pointed to conflict between herders and farmers in Africa as an example. Water shortages were leading to declines in agricultural production and to tensions.
“Flight and migration are the consequences and exacerbate crises,” Maas said, highlighting a theme of particular concern to German politicians amid the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment in many parts of the country.