Showing posts from November 2, 2008

Drought to make land worldwide uninhabitable

Drought land 'will be abandoned'

Parts of the world may have to be abandoned because severe water shortages will leave them uninhabitable, the United Nations environment chief has warned.

Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme, said water shortages caused by over-use of rivers and aquifers were already leading to serious problems, even in rich nations. With climate change expected to reduce rainfall in some places and cause droughts in others, some regions could become 'economic deserts', unviable for people or agriculture, he said.

Steiner argued that only urgent action to combat global warming and poverty could prevent the creation of thousands of 'environmental refugees'. Previous UN agreements to reduce global warming emissions and the Millennium Development Goals on poverty had not been met. His warning echoes those of other environment leaders, who have said that water shortages could be the greatest threat posed by climate change…