2022 - CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION: THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY

Sven CLEMENT (Luxembourg) - PRELIMINARY DRAFT SPECIAL REPORT

25 April 2022

Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has completely overshadowed the recent report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published shortly after the beginning of the war. However, IPCC’s message is clear: climate change is at least partially irreversible and threatens to overwhelm human and natural systems beyond their ability to adapt. The 2022 Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS) of the World Economic Forum (WEF) identified climate change as the most menacing long-term threat. Extreme weather events and biodiversity loss associated with climate change have already inflicted heavy costs and led to mass displacement. Societal and economic repercussions of climate change-related disasters are potentially catastrophic. 

Climate change also presents a real and growing international security challenge. The 2022 Security Report of the Munich Security Conference named climate change as a key security risk. In combination with resource scarcity and demographic growth, climatic changes are likely to create instability throughout the world, with fragile nations impacted most profoundly. In the worst case, this could lead to state failure, violent conflicts, and uncontrolled migration movements. Moreover, climate change is already affecting the planning and conduct of military operations, damages military bases and infrastructure and strains military forces’ resources when providing support for dealing with climate change-related disasters. 

This preliminary draft report first draws attention to the security implications of climate change and lays out NATO’s evolving approach to climate change. A brief overview of NATO efforts to better understand and mitigate climate change follows. This includes research efforts conducted by the Science and Technology Organisation (STO) supporting innovative climate change mitigating technology. The report calls upon NATO Allies to continue and strengthen efforts to adapt to the impact of climate change. Efforts in this regard should focus on including climate change considerations in future strategic documents, adapting military capabilities to climate change challenges, outlining a robust energy transition plan without weakening our collective defence capabilities, and providing funding for the integration of energy saving and renewable technologies for military operations.
 


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