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    EU warns water shortage in Central Asia could spark conflicts

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    The severe impact of climate change in Central Asia is causing water and food shortages that could lead to regional conflicts, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana warned.

    BRUSSELS, March 15 (RIA Novosti) - The severe impact of climate change in Central Asia is causing water and food shortages that could lead to regional conflicts, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana warned.

    Solana delivered a climate change and security report from the High Representative and the European Commission to leaders at the European Union summit held on Thursday and Friday.

    "An increasing shortage of water, which is both a key resource for agriculture and a strategic resource for electricity generation, is already noticeable" in Central Asia, the report said.

    "The glaciers in Tajikistan lost a third of their area in the second half of the 20th century alone, while Kyrgyzstan has lost over a 1000 glaciers in the last four decades. There is thus considerable additional potential for conflict in a region whose strategic, political and economic developments as well as increasing trans-regional challenges impact directly or indirectly on EU interests."

    Climate change topped the agenda at the summit in Brussels. In the 27 leaders' final declaration, they urged world powers to sign up to an international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and threatened to impose sanctions on nations that boycott an agreement.

    The climate change report concluded: "The impact of climate change on international security is not a problem of the future but already of today and one which will stay with us. Even if progress is made in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases, weather patterns have already changed, global temperatures have already risen and, above all, climate change is already being felt around the globe."

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