“We have to prepare ourselves for the potential social and political consequences that stem from crop failures, water shortages, famine and outbreaks of epidemic disease,” he said. “And we have to heighten our national security readiness to deal with the possible destruction of vital infrastructure and the mass movement of refugees — particularly in parts of the world that already provide fertile ground for violent extremism and terror.
“Long story short, climate change isn’t just about Bambi. It’s about us.”
Kerry said he would convene a task force of senior government officials and outside experts to determine how to make climate change predictions a part of foreign policy planning.
“If we can better identify the red flags of risk around the world, we can better target our diplomacy and development assistance to enable those nations to become more resilient and more secure — and less likely to devolve into a full-fledged war and humanitarian crisis,” he said.
Embassies could use climate change analysis to help host countries find ways to deter disaster, Kerry said,“before it evolves into deep grievances that help fuel conflicts.”