Prince Charles has joined Bernie Sanders in suggesting that climate change plays a role in conflict and terrorism. The heir to the British throne, who is known for his campaigning on environmental issues, gave an interview with Sky News ahead of COP21—the UN’s climate summit—and linked drought to the ongoing conflict in Syria.
During the interview, which was filmed three weeks ago (ahead of the Paris attacks) but broadcast yesterday, he stated the following:
“[T]here's very good evidence indeed that one of the major reasons for this horror in Syria, funnily enough, was a drought that lasted for about five or six years, which meant that huge numbers of people in the end had to leave the land.”
He was asked whether it was possible to draw a direct link between climate change, conflict and terrorism, and replied: "It's only in the last few years that the Pentagon has actually started to pay attention to this. I mean, it has a huge impact on what is happening."
His statements echo those made by US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who during a debate stated that:
“[c]limate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism. And if we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say, you’re going to see countries all over the world [...] struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops and you’re going to see all kinds of international conflict.”
Both have received praise and scorn for their viewpoints, with many believing that the link between environmental issues and conflict is often overlooked, while others suggest that conflict and terrorism stem from issues such as religious differences.
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