Climate Security

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Climate change is a national security threat that America’s military, and militaries around the world are taking seriously.

A U.S. Marine Corps CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter delivers humanitarian aid supplies to victims of Typhoon Megi in the Divilican municipality of Isabela province, Philippines, Oct. 22, 2010. U.S. and Philippine service members were conducting initial bilateral recovery assistance in the areas impacted by the typhoon, which was locally known as Juan. (DoD photo by Lance Cpl. John Kennicutt, U.S. Marine Corps/Released) 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 themselves 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.   We must address the threats of climate change – both by reducing emissions and by increasing resiliency. Failure to do so will make solving every other security challenge of the 21st Century nearly impossible. Read More »
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