India has slipped by four points in an annual global index on peacefulness this year, finishing at 141 among 163 countries, while Iceland remained at the top position, according to a report by an worldwide think tank.
While admitting "long-term" evidence on the link between climate change and peace is "scarce", the report states that available proof "suggests that climate has played a role in triggering or exacerbating conflict through its effects on livelihood security and resource availability".
Eighty-six countries improved their score in the 2019 report, whilst 76 deteriorated.
The most peaceful country in the world, according to the latest edition of the GPI, which measures the performance of countries from March 2018 to March 2019, was Iceland followed closely by New Zealand. Twenty-two of the 36 European countries recorded improvements in 2018, with the largest improvements occurring for political terror, terrorism impact, refugees and IDPs, and homicide rate indicators.
It is home to four of the ten least peaceful countries in the world, with no country from the region ranked higher than 30th on the GPI.
Ghana, Mauritius, Botswana, Malawi and Zambia were the region's most peaceful countries, while Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Somalia and South Sudan recorded lowest levels of peacefulness. While global peacefulness improved for the first time in five years, as per the index findings, the world remains less peaceful than a decade ago.
The report covers 99.7 per cent of the world's population and uses 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources to compile the index.
Australian think tank, Institute for Economics and Peace ranks countries according to their level of peacefulness based on three thematic domains - the level of societal safety and security, the extent of ongoing domestic and global conflict and the degree of militarisation.
"Going forward, climate change is going to be a substantial problem", Steve Killelea, executive chairman of the IEP, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The one thing that the countries at the very top of the index all had in common, according to Mr Killelea, were well functioning governments and good business environments, which were easier to maintain once they had initially been established. International Day of Peace: The World Turned More Negative And This is Why We Need More Peace. In both regions, the number of deaths from conflict declined in Ukraine and Syria respectively. Only deaths from internal conflict improved, with fewer fatalities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India than the year prior. Russian Federation and Eurasia, Asia-Pacific, and MENA recorded improvements across all three GPI domains. "In 2017, there were some 18,000 combatant casualties, and that number has increased since".
The report also analyses the security risks posed by climate change.
While most and least peaceful countries remain the margin, there is a growing gap of countries under risk of becoming unstable in between. The cost of violence, the Institute estimated for the year 2018 in the world to 14.1 trillion U.S. dollars (the equivalent of about 12.5 trillion euros). This figure is equivalent to 11.2 per cent of the world's economic activity or $1,853 per person.