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05 June 2014

Climate Change: Implications for Defence

The Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC), a institutional partner of the CCAPS Program, recently published a briefing entitled Climate Change: Implications for Defence. The document explores some of the key findings outlined in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).

Water scarcity, rising sea levels, food insecurity, and an increase in the intensity of natural disasters are just a few of the challenges that governments are likely to face in the coming years. While the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report emphasized these challenges, the GMACCC’s recent briefing expanded the discussion by examining ways in which these issues will impact the security policies of nations across the world.

The report highlights five key points:

1.     Climate change poses an increasing threat to peace and security in the world.

2.     Climate change acts as a threat multiplier, exacerbating existing vulnerabilities and current threats to security.

3.     Societies’ responses to climate impacts may exceed the global or regional capacity to manage those responses peacefully.

4.     Climate change will bring new challenges to states’ ability to share resources and provide human security

5.     Military forces will be directly affected by climate change

As the negative effects of climate change emerge as one of the most imminent threats to national and international security, countries will need to identify risks and execute strategies to combat the political and economic unrest that will undoubtedly arise. Implementing sound policies that help to mitigate these threats will be essential to the stability and prosperity of countries most susceptible to climate change. 

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