Climate change poses a threat to peace in countries around the world in the coming decade, according to an annual peace index released by the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
Nearly a billion people live in areas at high risk from global warming and about 40% of them are in countries already struggling with conflict.
Climate change causes conflict due to competition over diminishing resources and may also threaten livelihoods and force mass migration, it said.
"Going forward, climate change is going to be a substantial problem," Steve Killelea, executive chairman of the IEP, told the ThomsonReuters Foundation. The effects of climate change can create a "tipping point", exacerbating tensions until a breaking point is reached, particularly in countries that are already struggling, said Killelea. Tackling entrenched conflicts may also help countries cooperate better on global warming, he said. "Unless we have a world which is basically peaceful, it will be impossible to get the levels of trust and cooperation necessary to solve these problems," he said.
"We know that environmental degradation and water stress can lead to hunger, famine and displacement, and combined with economic and political instability, can lead to migration and conflict," said Manish Bapna, managing director of the World Resources Institute.