PARIS (AP) — U.N. conference on climate in Paris this year will also be a "conference for peace," given that global warming threatens the world's security, a top French official said Wednesday.
Government officials from several African and island nations gathered in Paris on Wednesday to discuss the implications of climate change for defense issues.
"Climate and international security are closely linked," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said. Major droughts, floods and famines force people to migrate and "increase the risk of conflicts," he said.
In addition, making the transition to renewable energy sources will help ease power struggles over the control of oil and natural gas resources, Fabius added.
Defense ministers of neighboring Chad and Niger described the growing desertification of Africa's Sahel region as a multiplier of threats —especially in the troubled Lake Chad region, which is facing frequent attacks by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.
Mahamadou Karidjo, Niger's defense minister, said his government's main concern was "to ensure that Nigerien people don't starve to death" amid climate changes.
Haitian Defense Minister Lener Renauld stressed the importance of curbing global warming. His Caribbean island is particularly vulnerable to climatic-related events.
"I'm convinced that for this planet, there's no plan B," he said.
France is host a major U.N. climate change conference from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.