Climate change is a national security threat that America’s military, and militaries around the world are taking seriously. The science is definitive enough for action: the military knows that you cannot have 100% certainty before acting.
Climate change alone will not cause wars, but it serves as an “Accelerant of Instability” or a “Threat Multiplier” that makes already existing threats worse. The threat of global warming for security will manifest through a range of effects: resource scarcity, extreme weather, food scarcity, water insecurity, and sea level rise will all threaten societies around the world. Too many governments are not prepared for these threats, either because they do not have the resources or because they have not planned ahead. How those societies respond to the increase in instability will determine whether climate change will lead to war.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS THREATS TO NATIONAL SECURITY:
1. The science is definitive enough for action. We cannot wait until you have 100% certainty before acting.
2. Climate change alone will not cause war, but it serves as an “Accelerant of Instability” or a “Threat Multiplier” that makes already existing threats worse.
3. Globally, how climate change interacts with society will determine the extent of security threats and the need for military involvement. Global threats include: migration, conflict over scarce resources, reduced food production, water insecurity, and others.
4. The effects of climate change pose clear threats to U.S. Homeland Security: America’s infrastructure, food production, and American lives are at risk.
5. The U.S. Military is preparing for Climate Change by working with allies, studying potential threats, ensuring resilience to extreme weather, and preparing to deploy when needed.