GMACCC Chairman Addresses UN Security Council
24 Apr 2017; GMACCC
Major General A N M Muniruzzaman (Ret) of Bangladesh presented a briefing by invitation at a consultative meeting of the UN Security Council at UN Headquarters in New York on 10 April. The focus was on emerging threats to security from climate change, especially risks from sea level rise to global peace and stability. The Security Council meeting was attended by all Security Council members including permanent five (P5) members and invited member states.
General Muniruzzaman’s points on sea level rise (SLR) at the briefing included:
- It is evident from scientific data that the sea level is rising faster than any time in history: 8 inches since 1880 and is expected to rise between 11 inches to 38 inches by 2100. (It is feared that if the Greenland ice sheet is lost, the sea level could rise by 23 feet with catastrophic consequences.)
- SLR is a threat to island states such as Maldives and others; they can disappear.
- SLR will cause great food insecurity as agricultural land in the coastal green belt near seas will become unproductive due to salinisation.
- 8 out 10 mega cities in the world are in coastal areas and may be partially lost due to sea level rise
- Over 40% of the global population live within 100 kilometers of coast lines. SLR will pose a threat to their habitat and livelihood, causing large displacement and migration.
- Sea Level Rise will negatively impact energy and infrastructure, as it will destroy numerous energy networks, including nuclear power plants.
- Some world financial centers are in coastal cities like Shanghai, Mumbai, and New York, with possible shock to the international financial system.
- Numerous major international ports are vulnerable to sea level rise with potential impacts on global trade and supply.
- Military bases and installations in coastal areas are likely to be negatively impacted by sea level rise.