Climate refugees – those forced from their homes due to the impacts of a warming world – are living proof of the international community’s failure to prevent climate change. International coordinated action is urgently required to forge a protective framework for increasingly vulnerable populations.
In this talk for the Food Systems Academy, Paul Rogers puts the challenges of transforming food systems in a global, human security context. He argues that food is at the centre of the third great transition humankind has to go through.
REDD forestry efforts don’t pay enough attention to their influence on local conflict dynamics. For REDD+ to be an effective mechanism to curb deforestation and strengthen peace opportunities, it has to pay more attention to pre-existing land and forest conflicts linked to tenure, take into account the interests of the local communities and be more sensitive to the local context
Recent examples of short-term climate disruption have done much to bring the overall issue of climate change up the political agenda. In responding to what will be one of the key challenges of the next decades – well beyond the 15-year lifetime of the post-2015 global development goals currently under discussion – much of the attention has been focused on the need to adapt to those elements of climate change that are already irreversible and also to the need to decarbonise existing high carbon-emitting economies. What needs much greater attention is the fundamental need to ensure that low-carbon emitters in the Global South are enabled to combine effective human development with responding to the challenges of climate change.
Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines on 8 November, and is possibly the most powerful tropical cyclone on record. Beyond the immediate impact of the typhoon, the natural disaster is already proving to be a threat to national security, with reports surfacing of massive looting and military engagement following attacks on government relief convoys. As US and UK naval convoys head to support the situation, Andrew Holland discusses climate change’s impact as a threat multiplier and what plans militaries and governments must make to prevent the insecurity that will come with future disasters of this scale.
Regular sustainablesecurity.org contributor and former Director of the Sustainable Security programme at Oxford Research Group, Dr Ben Zala, provides a brief overview of some of the main security implications of climate change. In this video, he stresses that policymakers must be careful not to militarise the issue.
Arctic security remains wedded to traditional, state-centric military threats despite the fact that the threat of outright conflict is as remote as the farthest reaches of the Arctic region itself. These approaches are predictable, but they will contribute little to alleviating the complex, interrelated, and underlying drivers of insecurity in the Arctic region. Cameron Harrington argues that if our understanding of both Arctic security and the Arctic environment continues to be reduced to the international scramble for untapped resources and for newly opened “shipping lanes”, it is unlikely that the hugely alarming and damaging environmental effects of climate change will ever be truly overcome.
Hurricane Katrina and the sinking of coastal Louisiana stand as a reminder that we must address climate change, competition over resources and marginalisation as the root causes of conflict before it is too late.
As the devastating bushfires in Australia sharpen questions about the need for urgent action on climate change in that country, is it time to abandon the debate over the pitfalls of viewing climate change through a ‘security lens’?
While volatility and uncertainty might be the ‘new normal’ in global resource politics, one thing is entirely certain – inaction and ‘business-as-usual’ when facing “a critical juncture in human history” is a recipe for disaster.