Facing the Climate Security Threat: Why the Security Community Needs a "Whole-of-Government" Response to Global Climate Change
Climate change should be treated similarly to other strategic threats like terrorism and cyber-security. It is a global problem that relies mainly on civilian action by civilian authorities to reduce security risks to manageable levels and, if left unmanaged, will have serious hard-security implications.As security actors in many countries move from analysis of climate threats to response strategies, the need for better decision-support systems to design and prioritize action is becoming clear. To date, the security community’s priority has been to manage the impacts of climate change without compromising security objectives. But given the inadequacy of current emission reduction commitments, security planning will need to be based on far more extreme climate scenarios. A more effective “whole-of-government” approach to the risk management of climate change would require the inclusion of climate change in national security processes, regular assessments of the effectiveness of climate security action, and a risk-management framework that expands responsibilities well beyond environment and energy ministries.