ST. PETER, Minn., Oct. 9 (UPI) — A looming global water shortage means world leaders should act now to assure peace in water-poor regions, a climate change expert told a Minnesota audience.
“There is no more crucial issue to human society than the future of water on this planet,” Nobel-Prize winner Rajendra Pachauri said, speaking in the U.S. state known as “The Land of 10,000 Lakes.”
“Unless we act with a sense of urgency, there will certainly be conflict and a disruption of peace.”
The world’s water is like the world’s wealth — some countries have much more than others, Pachauri, a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, Wednesday told a conference at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.
Population increases and climate change mean as many as 1.2 billion people in Asia, 250 million Africans and 81 million Latin Americans will be exposed to increased water stress by 2020, said Pachauri, head of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“We need to look at what happens to the rest of the world with some degree of alarm; these influences have very dangerous implications for the rest of the world,” he said.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International