Drought, flooding and extreme weather are driving and amplifying violent conflict around the world. At the same time, warfare has devastated ecosystems, imperiled access to vital resources and left behind toxic legacies that sicken civilian populations.
On Thursday, a coalition of human rights organizations and lawyers published an open letter urging the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor, Karim A. A. Khan, to begin assessing the links between climate change and crimes in the court’s remit. The letter also calls on Khan to prioritize the prosecution of crimes that cause environmental destruction, citing a host of examples:
In the Lake Chad basin, drought and extreme weather have put agriculture-dependent communities in precarious economic situations, increasing the likelihood that young men will be recruited into militant groups like Boko Haram.
In Ukraine, Russia’s destruction of the Kakhovka Dam flooded and forced downstream communities from their homes, caused mass fish die-offs and affected communities’ access to fresh water. [Continue reading…]