2022 - UNDERSTANDING, ADAPTING TO, AND LIMITING THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON ALLIED CIVIL SECURITY

Linda SANCHEZ (United States) - PRELIMINARY DRAFT REPORT

29 April 2022

From wildfires to floods, the impact of climate change is being increasingly felt in the Alliance. These extreme weather events are among some of the most immediate manifestations of climate change. They are having devastating effects on the Alliance’s civil security by rendering critical infrastructure vulnerable and causing forced displacement. We are also seeing slow-onset impacts caused by climate change which is driving longer-term societal and security challenges by spurring climate migration, amplifying socio-economic inequality, and fuelling conflict.

Allied countries and NATO recognise climate change as a threat multiplier and a major security risk. In response to the short- and long-term challenges it poses, they are increasingly mobilising resources, supporting diplomatic and multilateral efforts, and taking practical measures to strengthen their national and collective resilience. However, more can and must be done to understand, adapt to, and limit the impact of climate change on our societies.

To that end, this preliminary draft report offers a framework outlining the present and future civil security implications of climate change, raises awareness about the vulnerabilities of Allied institutions and societies through illustrative case studies, and presents some of the strategies adopted thus far by Allied countries and NATO. Finally, it suggests additional pragmatic measures that they should take to bolster the Alliance’s resilience and prepare it to face the unprecedented challenges of climate change in the upcoming decades.


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