The European Union (EU) has recognised the high-probability, high-impact threat climate change poses to international security, but is still formulating a response commensurate to the threat.
This report by the Planetary Security Initiative (co-published by the Center for Climate and Security and the Clingendael Institute) outlines how the EU can meet a responsibility to prepare for unprecedented yet foreseeable threats to international peace and security. This involves routinising, institutionalising, elevating and integrating climate security considerations into policy-making processes and the policies and financial instruments of EU institutions, while honing rapid response capabilities and developing contingencies for unintended consequences.
An impression on the proactive diplomatic interventions in crisis regions are presented in this video.
The authors present an outline of a new framework for the European Union to transform its response to the security risks of climate change. It is argued that the security threats of climate change should be more routinely integrated into EU institutions at a senior level and be elevated alongside other ‘traditional’ security issues like terrorism and nuclear threats. As the EU’s conflict prevention mechanisms are making progress in better-addressing climate risks, the report gives detailed recommendations on what a response scaled to the threat of climate change across EU bodies could look like. The following key points are included:
- The European political and security community has a ‘Responsibility to Prepare’ for climate-related threats.
- The EU must be more proactive in making diplomatic and development interventions in crisis regions affected by climate change and security risks.
- The EU’s current conflict early warning and rapid response systems risk becoming inadequate unless they plan better for the impacts of climate change.