Climate change is a public safety issue that affects us all. Climate change often refers to long-term shifts in the earth’s weather patterns or temperature. Some of these shifts can happen naturally whilst others are happening due to human activity. These changes can result in activity such as global warming which is harming the planet. But is climate change a national security issue? In this article, we will be talking about the relationship between climate change and security, and whether it is a threat to security.
- How Does The Environment Affect Security?
- Why Is Environment Security Important?
- Is Climate Change A Security Issue?
- How Is Climate Change A Threat To Security?
- Is Climate Change A National Security Issue?
- Why Is Climate Change A National Security Issue?
- How Does Climate Change Affect National Security?
- Is Climate Change A Global Security Issue?
How Does The Environment Affect Security?
Before we can talk about the relationship between climate change and security, we first need to talk about how the environment itself can affect security. The environment is able to affect security as it can sometimes cause physical security threats.
This happens when there is a conflict within the environment such as a natural disaster; these natural disasters could be forest fires, earthquakes, flooding, or even hurricanes. Natural disasters are a huge risk to physical security as they often cause a lot of damage. This damage could be damage to the earth itself, property damage, and some natural disasters can even take lives.
Human-made physical security incidents like terrorism can also damage the environment. For example, terror attacks cause air pollution, deaths, property damage, and physical damage to the environment itself. Terrorism in the UK can be measured by terror threat levels and we can use these levels to evaluate how dangerous these attacks can be for society and the environment.
Why Is Environment Security Important?
Environment security is security that examines external and internal threats which are caused by environmental events towards the environment itself and society. Some of these threats could be pollution, global warming, water shortages, heatwaves, and resource degradation. Environmental security is important because it helps to protect not only the earth itself away from damage, but it also helps to keep humans and animals safe from any dangers as well.
Is Climate Change A Security Issue?
The earth’s climate has been changing naturally ever since the earth began billions of years ago. However, when the earth’s climate changes at an increased pace this can be considered a threat to our security as it not only puts the environment at risk but also causes damage to society and threaten people’s lives as well.
How Is Climate Change A Threat To Security?
When there have been extreme cases of climate change these have caused physical security risks. Below, we have listed some examples of how climate change can cause security risks.
- Due to the heat increase because of climate change, this can cause more frequent heat waves. More frequent heatwaves are a risk to public health as they can threaten people’s lives and, in some cases, they can cause death.
- Climate change can also cause more intense and frequent rainfall which can cause flooding. Flooding is a huge threat to physical security as it can cause property damage, and result in people being killed or being seriously injured. In some cases, flooding can also cause chemicals to be washed into the water which can cause the water to become contaminated.
- Due to increasing temperatures, global warming is currently causing the extinction and threatening the lives of animals. Back in 2018, a report from the IUCN estimated that climate change was affecting at least 10,967 animal species.
- Climate change can also cause more extreme weather events to take place. Some cases of extreme weather can make it harder for enough food and crops to grow in some areas of the world.
Is Climate Change A National Security Issue?
Yes, climate change can be seen as a national security issue. A national security issue or threat is anything that poses a threat to the economy or well-being of a nation. Climate change is a threat to national security as extreme cases of climate change can cause security risks such as natural disasters like droughts or flooding.
Why Is Climate Change A National Security Issue?
The reason why climate change is considered as a national security issue is because of the physical security threats it can cause. A lot of countries have said that they feel like climate change is a threat to their own country’s security.
Last year in the UK, the prime minister joined and chaired a United Nations Security Council session about climate change. This is the first time that a prime minister has joined this meeting since 1992. During the meeting, he said he agreed with the members and said that “climate change is a threat to our security”.
How Does Climate Change Affect National Security?
Climate change affects national security because in extreme cases it can cause damage to the well-being of a nation. For example, in Australia experts have reported that climate change was the reason behind the rapid increase of bushfires and wildfires in 2019 and 2020.
Is Climate Change A Global Security Issue?
The relationship between climate change and global security is similar to the relationship between climate change and national security. As climate change is a public safety issue it can be thought of as a global security issue. Many countries around the world have expressed their concern for climate change and agree that it is not only a threat to their security but to others as well.
Last November in Glasgow a meeting was held by the United Nations called COP26. During this meeting, world leaders discussed what the worst impacts of climate change were and what actions they could take to help reduce climate change. Additionally, every country in the world already has actions in place to help stop climate change which you can find online on their government website.
Overall, climate change is a serious issue that is affecting everyone around the world, and due to the physical security risks, that it is causing – it can be considered as not only a national security issue but a global issue as well.
We can see there has been an overall decrease of incidents of terrorism over time, with some spikes occurring in the data. This is due to an increased awareness of the threat as well as governments across the world investing more resources into counter terrorism measures and security.
It is still something that effects our day to day lives and is always a risk. So, what are we doing to stay as safe as possible?
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