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security and climate change

An expert explains the urgent need both for effective climate change action and for steps to be taken to prepare for life in a drastically different world, where global warming and related environmental degradation will impact on security. Environment and Climate Change Canada informs Canadians about protecting and conserving our natural heritage, and ensuring a clean, safe and sustainable environment for present and future generations. Climate change is therefore often described as a ‘risk multiplier’ a ‘fragility amplifier’ or even a ‘catalyst’ of conflict. Meanwhile the military should prepare for the consequences of climate change on security. In short, it impacts all aspects of the food system. Our commitments and initiatives, built in-line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, include: The climate change goals we need to accomplish as a global community, for our security and that of future generations, are ambitious. This was acknowledged in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and has since has been ratified by 197 countries. An example is the work of the World Resources Institute (WRI). In one case, scarcity may drive conflict and migration, while in another it may forge innovation and cooperation. Climate change will affect access to water, food, and energy — each of which is linked to conflict risk and national security through different channels — as well as patterns and prevalence of infectious disease, the frequency and scale of humanitarian crises, and human migration patterns. Tackling climate change requires a global effort, from governments, businesses, communities, and individuals. This paper systematically explores the range of possible connections between climate change and security, including national security considerations, human security concerns, military roles, and a discussion of the widely held assumption that climate change may trigger violent conflict. Some of the key steps the public and private sectors can take include: Only a concerted agenda and effort from governments and businesses will deliver the movement required to reverse the impact of our actions that have led to the climate catastrophe we face today. Additionally, Neelam manages BlackBerry’s travel strategy and operations. As Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) stated upon the release of the WMO provisional Statement on the State of the Climate in 2019: “If we do not take urgent climate action now, then we are heading for a temperature increase of more than 3°C by the end of the century, with ever more harmful impacts on human wellbeing.”. Billions of people may be faced with high levels of water stress or food scarcity, and many may migrate towards more habitable parts of the planet. Conflicts over increasingly scarce natural resources are not a predetermined outcome – they fundamentally depend on factors like institutional and social resources. This nearly universal membership gives legitimacy to its main aim of mitigating the human effect on climate change. As a technology and a security company, BlackBerry recognizes the key role we have in addressing climate change. All rights reserved. What is published in NATO Review does not necessarily represent the official position or policy of member governments, or of NATO. It is hard to imagine what the combined consequences of the geophysical and societal changes could mean for us. It is also hard to anticipate what actions world leaders will take in the future to prevent a breakdown of our ecosystems, including the (lack of) actions to curb greenhouse gas emissions. While it is hard to predict policies, the good news is that our insights into environmental scarcity and climate change are rapidly getting better. Vice President of Business Operations & Strategic Accounts, Office of the CEO The Security Council debate on 17 April was a landmark event, as it marked the recognition of climate change as a core security issue. Humidity and heat could make large parts of the tropic zones uninhabitable for at least part of the year. There is high agreement that climate change intimidates security where the term ‘security’ can refer to a broad range of securities involving national, international and Human Security. Neelam Chairs the Consumer Technology Associations Artificial Intelligence Committee. Sadly, we are currently too slow in taking action to meet these targets – greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase. Governments and businesses are in a particularly impactful position to drive positive change. Hearing on climate change and national security becomes an angry partisan clash (April 9, 2019) Germany pushes climate change as security risk (April 6, 2019) White House climate panel to include a climate denialist (February 20, 2019) U.N. warns climate change impacts security, U.S. ignores link (January 26, 2019) Moreover, we need to start preparing for life in a drastically different world, where climate change and related global environmental degradation will impact human security and international security. 2. UN Photo/Manuel Elias. It also begins to map and monitor environmental and climate security risks. But it is a killer of people, it is operating worldwide to destabilise societies, and it is gaining strength. Unfortunately, the future could have much more extreme scenarios in store for us. However, it was not until the Paris Agreement of 2015, that signatories to the UNFCC set targets, promising to hold global warming well below 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures and to try to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. Climate security refers to the security risks induced, directly or indirectly, by changes in the natural climate. Last year brought us record-breaking wildfires, floods and hurricanes, during a global pandemic. Combining remote sensing, big data and AI could make it possible to forecast risks and assess scenarios in a way we could never do before, and this could help us prepare better for future challenges. opt out. Many of the glaciers in the Himalaya that provide a reliable source of water for more than a billion people are likely to disappear. The Swedish teenage climate activist, Greta Thunberg (centre), joins other young people for a school strike or demonstration outside the United Nations Headquarters in New York – 30 August 2019. While we prepared for nuclear war as a risk that could happen, we are less sure if, or how, we should prepare for the inevitable consequences of climate change. Keeping the severity and complexity of these challenges in mind, security organisations should invest more in understanding and preparing for these future threats, together with a wide range of other relevant actors. The World Meteorological Organization said there was no previous record of two storms of such intensity striking the country in the same season. These challenges are exacerbated by ecosystem losses and climate change impacts. Today, we simply cannot afford to ignore the biggest challenge of all. On the eve of the UN Climate Change Conference COP 25 in Madrid (2 – 13 December 2019), a UN report made clear that urgent action is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are contributing to global warming. The research focuses both on risks and risk management. Mozambique was hit by two violent cyclones in March and April 2019, which together killed around 700 people. Many coastal cities risk being submerged. It can also cause loss of animals for the same reasons making ingredients harder to come by, jeopardizing food security. While consensus is building, climate change isn't waiting around. Security is a multifaceted concept. I believe that one of the most worrying things about current developments on our planet is the lack of awareness – and thus widespread complacency – about climate change among people, in the media and at government level. Economic instability, infrastructure risks, decreased water supplies and social unrest are named as a few of the potential outcomes of the climate change trajectory we are on today. Climate change has risen up the Security Council agenda in recent years. This support is relevant in the context of improving agriculture, water management and the resilience of food production systems, among others. Climate change will shift planet’s rain belt, threatening food security for billions, scientists say independent.co.uk - Tom Embury-Dennis. Increasingly, military experts are voicing their concerns. Alexander Verbeek is a Dutch environmentalist, who has mostly worked on the linkage between security and the earth's accelerating environmental crisis. BlackBerry. He warned that “the point of no return is no longer over the horizon; it is in sight and hurtling toward us.”. He created the Planetary Security Initiative and is Policy Director at the Environment & Development Resource Centre in Brussels. Conclusion Food security and population growth are greatly affected by climate change. Tackling climate change requires a global effort, from governments, businesses, communities, and individuals. Climate change poses grave risks to humanity in the 21st century; confronting it will require a massive transformation of the world’s energy systems. While climate change does not cause violent conflict, in and of itself, it can through its interaction with other social, political and economic factors have negative impacts on international peace and security. The media focuses on stories that will bring in money through views, clicks and “likes”. And while the public is increasingly raising its voice to demand urgent action, the ball remains very much in the court of governance. Countries' stances on climate change often mirror other geopolitical aims. opinion, analysis and debate on security issues, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, WMO provisional Statement on the State of the Climate in 2019, Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change, Planetary Security: the security implications of climate change. Then former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry took the floor and addressed what he said — correctly — is the greatest long-term threat to global security: climate change. Essential for the creation of such a system would be an integration of private and public initiatives for monitoring our planet by making use of the latest digital technologies. Governments and businesses are in a particularly impactful position to drive positive change. This challenge is being exacerbated by ecosystem losses and climate change impacts. “It is the intersection of climate with other developments and with other trends and issues that combine to increase the risks.” When evaluating risks of climate change to national security, intelligence analysts should leverage the expertise across the U.S. government as well as accurately measure how countries manage climate risk… As the United Nations approaches its 75th anniversary, the impact of anthropogenic climate change is sweeping across our planet. Accepting the reality of climate change, cooperating between all relevant stakeholders, and showing visionary leadership are some essential steps for the way forward. Read more here about our cookies, and how you can Since joining BlackBerry in 2009 Neelam has held various positions, based out of the company’s United Kingdom, New York and California offices. The Water Security and Climate Change conference (WSCC) is an annual event where scientists, policy makers and stakeholders from various sectors discuss the diverse facets of water security and its relation to climate variability and change. UNEP is one of the hosts of another digital data project called the World Environment Situation Room (powered by MapX). The pathways through which these risks manifest is highly contextual and determined by the interaction between climatic hazards, exposure, and, most importantly, the … The IAEA helps countries to use nuclear science and technologies to monitor and measure the impact of climate change and adapt to its effects. Photo © CGTN. The need to prepare for a different world. The WSCC strives to go beyond science and build bridges between various disciplines and sectors as well as different groups of stakeholders. In my opinion, two key developments will influence our capacity to anticipate potential instability or conflict. Plus, National Security And More COVID-19: LA County Residents 65 & Older Can Start Making Vaccine Appointments This Week In its first joint statement, released in October 2009, the Council warned that “failure to recognise the conflict and instability implications of climate change and to invest in a range of preventative and adaptive actions will be very costly in terms of destabilising nations, causing human suffering, retarding development and providing the required military response.”. Climate change affects food production and availability, access, quality, utilization, and stability of food systems. Future historians may find it hard to explain why we acted so late to prepare for these planetary security challenges. For more than ten years, it has warned of the potential security implications of climate change. Neelam also leads Customer Success for BlackBerry’s strategic accounts worldwide, across regulated industries. The damage to our planet is globalising faster than the global coordinated responses that are needed. Another initiative of WRI, together with other partners, is the Water, Peace and Security (WPS) partnership. Increasingly, Earth’s interacting physical, chemical and biological processes will pass tipping points, and feedback loops will further impact the environment. Speaking at the launch of a Special Report on Climate Change and Land by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Geneva, … In another sign that the Department of Defense (DoD) is prioritizing climate security risks, the annual Inspector General (IG) summary of the Department’s top management challenges explicitly discusses climate change and extreme weather events. It has no flag, no leader, no combatants, nor a revolutionary manifesto. For climate change it is the other way around: diplomats, businesses, environmentalists and everybody else should fight climate change. It can for instance combine the satellite data on forest cover in a country with those of the same area just two weeks before. Climate change is set to challenge all systems on which global security, peace, and stability depend. On the one hand, climate change and environmental degradation will make it even more complicated to predict conflicts. And even on a personal level, we all know that the climate emergency is generally not a welcome topic of conversation during dinner with friends and family. Governments concentrate on winning the next elections, which makes current spending on preparing for the world of the future less popular (proposing relevant measures to encourage people to fly less and eat less meat are still considered a career-ending move in mainstream politics). Ahead of the COP25 meeting, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that, so far, the world’s efforts to limit global warming have been “utterly inadequate”. ‘Planetary security’ therefore captures the new security challenges of our century better than the phrase ‘climate security’, or even the wider concept of ‘environment and security’. We do not have the luxury to postpone effective climate action any longer. Greta Thunberg’s ‘school strike for climate’ has inspired a global youth protest against the lack of action of their parents’ generation, and other initiatives like the Sunrise movement and Extinction Rebellion have also taken to the streets to demand more action. Water scarcity is expected to rise to unprecedented levels in some regions due to population growth, rapid urbanisation and growing economic demands for water. report by the U.S. National Security, Military and Intelligence Panel (NSMIP), United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Making climate change a national security priority, Developing critical infrastructure resilience against climate change risks, Every organization committing to rapidly achieving net zero emissions, Investing in technologies that helps solve sustainability challenges, Pledges to be carbon neutral and to eliminate the use of single-use plastics this year, Investments in technologies that enable sustainability, such as our, Developing solutions to enable national security and critical infrastructure resilience, such as our, Partnerships with public and private sector organizations, including universities, to advance national and global sustainability solutions and targets. This observation is particularly salient within the United States. “Very rarely is a climate issue the sole driver behind a security threat,” she offered. But an effective longer-term structure to combine the knowledge and roles of all stakeholders is still lacking. These new movements join the countless scientists who have warned for decades that we are doing too little too late. That makes climate change a new enemy. A hotter planet will increasingly lead to security challenges. This paper systematically explores the range of possible connections between climate change and security, including national security considerations, human security concerns, military roles, and a discussion of the widely held assumption that climate change may trigger violent conflict. Her responsibilities have included Brand Management, Brand Messaging, Marketing Operations, Go-To-Market planning and Corporate Strategic Initiatives. On the other hand, the rapid increase of big data and artificial intelligence (AI) could increase our capacity to forecast future security threats. We have yet to see effective and visionary decision-making that could preserve our vulnerable planet from environmental degradation. Some first promising results were presented last year in the UN Security Council. The human security framework helps international, national and local actors to better coordinate responses to climate change. He has also pledged to integrate climate change into national security decision-making. In the past few years, the UN Security Council, the European Union and other regional organisations have also increasingly been paying attention to these planetary security challenges, and some actors have developed some initial capacity to address them. One of the reasons they may identify for the world’s slow reaction to both the cause and impacts of the climate crisis is that our institutions tend to work in silos and through government structures set up in a different era to confront a different sort of dangers. The Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC) is a global network of serving and retired military officers, and associated institutions. Neelam Sandhu is responsible for the operations of the CEO office, including supporting the CEO in managing key customer and government relationships globally, preparation of and for internal and external content and engagements, and driving special cross-functional projects to deliver operational efficiencies. That means that the slashing or burning of an isolated forest becomes visible practically as it happens, just as reforestation can be tracked and promoted as good practice. the link between climate change and national secu rity. BlackBerry uses cookies to help make our website better. We have successfully dealt with huge threats in the past. The impact of climate change that we already see now is only the beginning of more significant changes to come. WRI combines hundreds of data sets on environment, demography, health, politics or security. Some of the key steps the public and private sectors can take include: Making climate change a national security … The scale of the climate change challenge is so huge, the risks are so complex, and there are so many actors involved, that it is safe to say we have simply never dealt with such a multifaceted risk before. The Climate Change and Security project aims to deepen knowledge on how, when and why climate-related security risks arise, and how these risks can be mitigated, strengthening human security and long-term sustainable peace (Sustainable Develop Goals 13 and 16). We have more and more digital data about the state of our planet. 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