Sunday, June 03, 2012

The 'securitisation' of climate change

Climate Change: Drivers of Insecurity and the Global South
June 2012 - Summary

The issue of global climate change has become prominent over recent decades, now seen by many in the environmental movement as a problem of potentially apocalyptic proportions. Whilst the issue was first articulated by ‘green’ campaigners, gradually the socioeconomic, as well as ecological, implications of global warming are coming to the fore and being picked up by other interest groups. Over the last five years or so, the security policy community have come to regard climate change as part of their brief, as have civil society groups that work on defence, conflict analysis and peacebuilding.

While this paper is offered in the hope that the Western defence community may engage with some perspectives from the Global South, it is also to be hoped that as these actors become increasingly involved in issues related to environmental limitations, this knowledge leads them to act as advocates for climate change mitigation – as well as adaptation.

The 'securitisation' of climate change – treating the issue as a matter of local, national or global security – need not mean an automatic 'militarisation' of the issue - the adoption of military responses based on the threat or use of force to a changing climate. Such an overly pessimistic view ignores the potential we still have for preventing the most dramatic effects of climate change, and may decrease the chances of us embracing a more preventative approach, promoting a low-carbon transition.

Climate change is a complex phenomenon, which will have multiple and non-linear effects on human security. It will have both direct and indirect impacts on the stability and security of states and communities, and these will vary enormously across the globe. However, it is the states and people of the Global South that are the most vulnerable to the security implications of a warmer world that are described in this report. read more>>>

CLIMATE CHANGE: Drivers of Insecurity and the Global South

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