Climate change is a grave threat to global peace and security, Boris Johnson has warned ahead of a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) session on the issue.
The Prime Minister, who is chairing the session on Tuesday, said a warming planet is driving insecurity "from the communities uprooted by extreme weather and hunger, to warlords capitalising on the scramble for resources".
Calling for action to help vulnerable countries adapt to climate change, the UK leader also pushed for nations to cut global emissions to "net zero" to protect international security.
Mr Johnson said: "The UNSC is tasked with confronting the gravest threats to global peace and security, and that’s exactly what climate change represents."
But he added: "Unlike many issues the council deals with, this is one we know exactly how to address.
"By helping vulnerable countries adapt to climate change and cutting global emissions to net zero, we will protect not only the bountiful biodiversity of our planet, but its prosperity and security."
It comes as countries increasingly face the effects of rising temperatures and extreme weather, displacing large numbers of people and creating competition over increasingly limited resources.
Of the 20 countries ranked most vulnerable to rising global temperatures, 12 are already in conflict, officials said.
As part of the UK Armed Forces' push to address the issue, lethal and non-lethal capabilities have taken environment initiatives on board.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said in December that RAF fighter jets could one day be using up to 50% sustainable fuel.
Offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar, dubbed the Royal Navy's 'greenest' ship, joined the fleet in 2020 and has catalytic converters that reduce nitrogen-based emissions from her engine exhausts by up to 95%, according to the service.
And in 2019, RAF Marham became the British military's first green base, having switched its electricity supply to one powered by locally grown and fermented crops.
The UNSC session is the first leader-level discussion it has held on climate, and is the first time it has been chaired by a British prime minister in nearly 30 years.
Sir David Attenborough is attending the session and will say the world may avoid runaway climate change if it acts vigorously to bring down emissions and treats the issue as a global threat.
The UN's Cop26 climate summit, to be hosted in Glasgow in November, could be the last opportunity to make the necessary change, the naturalist and broadcaster will warn the 15-member council in a video message.
Reaching the net-zero emissions mark requires huge cuts to greenhouse gases and any remaining pollution to be offset through measures such as planting trees.
Cover image: Boris Johnson (Picture: PA).