North Korea and India are among a group of 11 countries the U.S. intelligence community assesses as being "highly vulnerable" to the impacts of the climate crisis while lacking capability to adapt to the looming changes, a U.S. intelligence report showed Thursday.
The likely intensifying physical effects of climate change will "increase the potential for instability and possibly internal conflict in these countries," said the National Intelligence Estimate on Climate Change, which assesses possible risks through 2040.
The report was released as part of a series of analyses from U.S. government agencies regarding climate issues, as the administration of President Joe Biden prioritizes the climate crisis as a key factor in national security and foreign policy.
Building resilience to climate change in any of the nations listed as "highly vulnerable countries of concern" would be "especially helpful in mitigating future risks to U.S. interests," the report notes.
The other countries in the list are Afghanistan, Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Myanmar, Nicaragua and Pakistan.
These 11 countries in particular will lack the financial resources or governance capacity to adapt to climate change effects, heightening the risk of "instability-induced migration and displacement flows -- including to the U.S. southern border -- and increasing their already substantial needs for foreign aid and humanitarian assistance," the report said.
Specifically on North Korea, the U.S. intelligence community said the country's poor infrastructure and resource management will probably weaken its ability to cope with increased flooding and droughts, exacerbating chronic food shortages.
Climate change is also likely to increase the risk of instability in countries in Central Africa and small island states in the Pacific, which form two of the most vulnerable areas in the world, it said.