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Climate Change and Security News - October 2010

Commentary, 9 November 2010
Global Security Issues
A round-up of articles relating to climate change and security in the world media for September 2010

A round-up of articles relating to climate change and security in the world media for September 2010

  Renewable Energy Solar Panels

SDSR identifies climate change as a growing threat

The UK government has again highlighted how the anticipated impacts of climate change around the world could lead to international tensions and growing security risks. The findings are part of the government's Strategic Defence and Security Review, and are repeated in the UK's latest National Security Strategy. The Review states that the government will have to improve its ability to 'understand and respond to the national security impacts of climate change, which may exacerbate existing security threats' and follows the speech made last month by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague in which he stated that 'an effective response to climate change underpins our security and prosperity'.

The full SDSR is available here.

The latest UK National Security Strategy is available here.

Source: BusinessGreen, FCO


New Whitehall Paper draws attention to Arctic climate change

A new RUSI Whitehall Paper titled 'Environmental Security in the Arctic Ocean' launched this month, drawing attention to the implications of climate change for regional security. Writing in the foreword, Admiral James G Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, went as far as to warn that there is serious potential for conflict in the region. Professor Paul Berkman, author of the Whitehall Paper, argued that the increase in maritime activities in the region may require a military response and called for the five Arctic 'coastal' states (Denmark, Norway, Russia, the US and Canada) to work together to 'establish a lasting legacy of peace, stability and security'.

The full paper is available from

Source: BarentsObserver, Guardian, Telegraph


Emerging superpowers among the most vulnerable to climate change

UK consultancy Maplecroft has warned that the 'big economies of the future' are among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Bangladesh and India in particular face significant climate-related risks to their populations, ecosystems and business environments. The Philippines, Vietnam and Pakistan were also classified as being at 'extreme risk', while China, Brazil and Japan were considered to be at 'high risk'. As a result, 'organisations with operations or assets in these countries will become more exposed to associated risks' such as natural disasters, resource scarcity and conflict said Dr Matthew Bunce, principal environmental analyst at Maplecroft. Aiguo Dai, who conducted the research added 'if the projections in this study come even close to being realised, the consequences for society worldwide will be enormous'.

Source: BusinessGreen


US Military needs more 'renewables'

Retired Vice Admiral, Dennis McGinn (US Navy) has told more than 600 industry leaders from 27 countries at the annual Algae Biomass Summit that they have a significant role to play in US national security. McGinn declared 'The United States armed forces need [the renewable energy sector] to succeed' as the Navy looks to meet half of its energy needs for ships and planes with renewable energy sources by 2020. 

The retired Vice Admiral's statement comes as the US military pushes more aggressively to develop, test and deploy renewable energy in order to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels in Afghanistan.

Source: UPI, NY Times

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