First-Ever Climate Report by a Nonpartisan, Security Body Relates Climate Change to Global Instability

A nonpartisan climate report raises concern for not just climate change but also the affects it will have on global stability. In a comprehensive report released by the National Security, Military, and Intelligence Panel (NSMIP) of the Center for Climate and Security, experts warn of high to catastrophic threats to security from climate change.

The report warns that addressing climate change trajectories will require “quickly reducing and phas[ing] out global greenhouse gas emissions.”

The panel that issued the report consists of national security, military, and intelligence experts, and the group analyzed the globe through the lens of the US Geographic Combatant Commands. It made the following conclusion:

“Even at scenarios of low warming, each region of the world will face severe risks to national and global security in the next three decades. Higher levels of warming will pose catastrophic, and likely irreversible, global security risks over the course of the 21st century.”

The report, titled “A Security Threat Assessment of Global Climate Change: How Likely Warming Scenarios Indicate a Catastrophic Security Future,” brings together a panel of security professionals to analyze the security implications of two future warming scenarios [near term (1–2°C) and medium- to long-term (2–4°C)]. It notes major threats, heightened social and political instability, and risks to US military missions and infrastructure as well as security institutions at both warming scenarios and across the world.

The following are some of the report’s key findings:

  • A near-term scenario of climate change, in which the world warms 1–2°C over preindustrial levels by mid-century, would post "high" to "very high" security threats. A medium- to long-term scenario in which the world warms as high as 2–4°C would pose a "very high" to "catastrophic" threat to global and national security. The world has already warmed slightly below 1°C compared with preindustrial temperatures.
  • At all levels of warming (1–4°C), climate change will pose significant and evolving threats to global security environments, infrastructure, and institutions.
  • While, at lower warming thresholds, the most fragile parts of the world are at the greatest risk, all regions of the world will face serious implications. High warming scenarios could bring about catastrophic security impacts across the globe.
  • These threats could come about rapidly, destabilizing the regions and relationships on which US and international security depend.
  • Climate change will present significant threats to US military missions across all of its geographic areas of responsibility as well as to regional security institutions and infrastructure that are critical for maintaining global security.

Read the full story here.

Read the report here (PDF).

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