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The Global Security Defense Index on Climate Change

The Global Security Defense Index on Climate Change

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Military Perspectives on Climate Change From Around the World

The Global Security Defense Index on Climate ChangeThe American Security Project is in the process of creating the The Global Security Defense Index on Climate Change.

This Index will detail how governments around the world, and militaries in particular, plan for and anticipate the strategic threats of climate change.

The aim of the project is to determine to what extent governments around the world consider climate change to be a national or international security issue, and have enshrined such a concern in their official documents. To our knowledge, such a centralized database does not exist today.

The database will contain Open Source information taken from the Ministry of Defense and/or military branches from every nation in the world, including defense white papers, official statements and speeches, government websites and multinational agreements.

Map with key

A Global, Cross-Country Comparison

The Climate Change and Global Security Defense Index will centralize the varying attitudes of national militaries and security establishments toward climate change and provide unique insight in comparing national, regional, and multilateral security approaches to the issue. In many nations, the armed forces are the most respected arm of government, and their action on climate change can raise awareness throughout the country.

ASP has conducted initial research for the Index and the preliminary findings are quite revealing:

Thus far, almost all nations have included in their official statements relating to defense that the government considers Human Assistance and Disaster Relief a critical responsibility of their armed forces.

About 70% nations analyzed thus far make explicit reference to climate change as a national security concern.

Many developed nations (France, UK, Australia, U.S.) highlight mankind’s role in causing climate change. Lesser developed nations range in their official statements.

Different nations relate to climate change in different ways based on geography and local issues.

    For ASP’s Preliminary Results Paper, click here.


 How You Can Help: Translation Work

A large percent of official government open source material is only available in that nation’s native tongue, so ASP needs help in translation! We need, from the relevant Foreign Government website: (1) A clear statement on the danger of climate change, (2) Any admission that climate change is man-made, (3) that military approaches climate change from a regional perspective, and (4) that government’s civilian vs. military approach to climate change. Remember to consult “open source” material only!


If you have an idea of what sources to consult, who to talk to, or anything else to consider, please email: ASP Senior Fellow for Climate, Andrew Holland at aholland@amercicansecurityproject.org or Alexander Vagg at xvagg@americansecurityproject.org.

And follow the work of the project on twitter with #GSDI or @amsecproject

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