29 October 2020

Fears for militarisation of climate change: Should we be concerned?

The debate on how climate change and security are related is confronted by those fearing unnecessary securitisation and others being cautious about the topic of security stretching to issues beyond the abuse of power leading to deadly conflicts. Some fear climate change becoming an excuse for sending military personnel to areas that governments wish to be brought (back) under (state) control. Others are afraid of security actors getting their hands on funding for climate mitigation and adaptation, with the result that such funding does not reach the people most in need nor achieve climate policy objectives.

There is also a fear of climate change being presented as a threat multiplier just to get it higher up on the political agenda in the US. On the contrary, in Europe, climate change policy, centred around the transition to a low carbon economy.

There is a lack of evidence on how military or climate and development policymakers could have abused the security dimension of climate change to justify military intervention or suppression, or rather placing climate change higher on political agendas. This Clingendael alert is a call for a more open debate on what lies behind fears for the securitisation of climate change, particularly on the opposition to engage the military.


Read Clingendael Alert here. 


Photocredit: The National Guard/ Flickr