Climate Security: Impacts and Opportunities for Transatlantic Relations
Climate change is one of the most serious political, diplomatic, and social challenges facing the transatlantic community. Given the lack of progress in the international climate negotiations, foreign-policy and defense sectors on both sides of the Atlantic should develop a contingency plan based on closer military and foreign-policy collaboration. Early coordination on the political and military fronts to address the security implications of climate change will enable a more flexible response in both sectors. The transatlantic partners should 1) assess the security implications of climate change in areas of joint strategic interest; 2) define opportunities for cooperation in novel operating environments, research and development, horizon scanning, and sharing of bases; 3) consider operating as a strategic hub for international dialogue on climate change’s potential security implications; 4) build closer civil-military relationships in particularly at-risk parts of the globe to strengthen regional resilience and enhance early-warning capabilities; and 5) develop joint structures to facilitate a continual assessment of the risks climate change could pose to areas of common interests.