Quite a lot has changed since we started our blog series just six months ago. Sadly, Paris has been the target of terrorist attacks. Innocent people lost their lives, and global insecurity levels have gone up a few notches. For a few days, several journalists expressed doubts about whether the climate summit would still take place. Many feared that the climate of fear and uncertainty might overshadow the climate of planet Earth. Although one can wonder which is the greater threat to humankind, terrorism or climate change, this polarization is not quite necessary.
In fact, a growing number of opinions establish a connection between the two threats. In an interview with Radio-Canada in Malta on Saturday, November 28, Ban Ki-Moon said that if climate change goes unaddressed, its effects on certain regions of the world may foster feelings of frustration in entire populations, which in turn may create a fertile breeding ground for radicalization. In an October 2014 study, the Pentagon used the phrase “threat multiplier” to qualify climate change as a catalyzer for a host of problems, including the rise of terrorism. Restricted access to water and food, massive population displacements, worsening poverty and higher political instability may all contribute to creating favourable conditions for the inception of terrorist groups. Therefore, talks about world peace belong side-by-side with discussions about climate change, and the 147 world leaders at the Paris summit owe it to humankind to find solutions to global warming.