Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at U.S. Aid’s 2014 Frontiers in Development Forum Friday and gave a stark warning about “500-year” drought conditions around the world that he says are a result of climate change. He went so far as to say that “[t]here are people killing each other over water in certain parts of the world,” and part of the solution lies in a “low-carbon economy” [emphasis added]:
Climate change means the heatwaves we’re already seeing, the extraordinary level of fires because of drought that is beyond the hundred-year mark. It’s the 500-year mark. Water shortages also way beyond hundred-year marks. All of this means conflicts over resources and serious implications for feeding the world’s growing population. Development is the only possible way, and it’s only possible if we grow more sustainably, if we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, if we transition to a low-carbon economy.
One of the privileges of traveling as I do or Mary Robinson does or Raj does is we see this. We see it now happening. There are people killing each other over water in certain parts of the world. There are people who are refugees because of the lack of food and the changes and the absence of adequate agricultural policies in parts of the world. So this is a critical moment. This is not conjecture. This is not pie in the sky. This is not some time down the road; it’s now, and we are compelled to respond.