New papers on nexus of climate change and security

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Paper series examines nexus of climate change and security ~Experts recommend coordinated approach to climate change, multilateral strategies~

A new series of papers released by the German Marshall Fund  of the United States (GMF) advances understanding of the linkages between  climate change and national security, and sets out options for  transatlantic policy responses.

The papers, commissioned by GMF’s  Climate & Energy Program, address the intersection of climate and  security from several different angles. Joshua W. Busby  and colleagues at the University of Texas, analyze the particular  vulnerabilities posed by climate change to North Africa, with a focus on  the region’s significance to transatlantic partners. E3G’s Nick  Mabey argues that the security community must be proactive in  addressing climate change. Tobias Feakin and Duncan  Depledge of RUSI write of how the transatlantic community can  benefit from a coordinated approach to climate change. And Adelphi’s  Dennis Taenzler and Alexander Carius  frame future conflicts and opportunities arising from climate change, with  an eye to developing multilateral adaptation strategies. 
Below  is a description of and link to each paper.

Mapping  Climate Change and Security in North Africa , by Joshua  W. Busby, Kaiba White, and Todd G. Smith, University of Texas at  Austin

Although all countries are vulnerable to climate change  impacts, a number of immediate concerns apply to North Africa, where the  brittleness and weakness of regimes in the region and the wider continent,  coupled with the low level of human and economic development, enhance its  vulnerability to a variety of ills, including climate change, terrorism,  armed conflict, and piracy. Using Geographic Information Systems and  illustrative narratives, Josh Busby and his associates examine how climate change and physical sources of vulnerability to natural hazards might  intersect with the region’s various demographic, social, and political  sources of weakness, highlighting their findings’ significance for the  transatlantic policy community. A brief synopsis of the paper can be found here  

Facing  the Climate Security Threat: Why the Security Community Needs a “Whole of  Government” Response to Global Climate Change  , by Nick  Mabey, E3G

Although a growing number of countries recognize that  the impacts of climate change pose veritable threats to national security,  the security community to date has largely adopted a reactive position, opting to manage the consequences of climate change without compromising  other security objectives. This mismatch must change. Security actors have  a legitimate interest in seeking a more effective “whole-of-government”  approach to the risk management of climate change, necessarily including climate change into national security processes, supported by regular  assessment of the effectiveness of climate security action at national and  international levels, and an explicit risk-management framework that  expands responsibilities for climate change outcomes well beyond environment and energy ministries.

Climate  Security: Impacts and Opportunities for Transatlantic  Relations , by Tobias Feakin and Duncan Depledge,  RUSI

The failure of the international community to strike a  comprehensive deal to address climate change demands that the West  prepares its own contingency plan for meeting its challenges. Early coordination between North America and Europe on the political and  military front will not only enable a more flexible response to climate  change in both sectors but also provide benefits to every member of the  transatlantic community.

Climate  security: Future landscapes of conflict and cooperation ,  by Dennis Taenzler and Alexander Carius, Adelphi

The transatlantic  partners must consider how to respond to the risks of climate change in  order to avoid increasing conflicts and tensions around the world. The  appropriate response will not be limited to one country or to the military  domain; rather, it must be both multilateral and multi-faceted,  encompassing the full range of available policies including development  cooperation, conflict prevention, and humanitarian assistance, as well as  climate change adaptation and mitigation. The development of adaptation  strategies, the efforts to establish a mechanism to reduce emissions from  deforestation and forest degradation, and the preparation of low carbon  development plans offer promising potential: By designing these  instruments in a conflict sensitive way, climate change concerns can be  mainstreamed into development, foreign and security policies. 

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Date CreatedFriday, January 14, 2011 8:53 AM
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