Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development

Climate and Security Working Group International Issues Statement on Climate Change and Security

November 15, 2016

The Climate and Security Working Group International Issues Statement on Climate Change and Security (CSWG-I), an international group of national security, military and foreign policy experts, issued a statement declaring:

We the undersigned members of the international security community conclude that climate change is a risk to international peace and stability. We call on world leaders to address climate risk in their national, regional and international security planning.

The CSWG-I’s International Climate and Security Consensus Statement was signed by 27 experts, representing a broad range of nations, and a depth of military, national security and foreign policy experience.  The statement goes on to note:

Climate change promises to make many of the complex crises the world currently faces much harder to solve. Unchecked, the effects of a warming climate will force people from their homes, destabilise societies and markets, create new sources of social and political tension, and even contribute to state fragility and failure. All of this can provide a vacuum for extremist groups to thrive.

Shiloh Fetzek, Senior Fellow for International Affairs at the Center for Climate and Security, and Chair of the CSWG-International, stated:

“We do not have the luxury of choosing the risks we face. But we can choose how we respond to those risks. This statement calls on the international community to respond comprehensively and cooperatively to climate change – an issue the security community has defined as a strategically-significant risk.”

To help address that risk, the drafters offer a few top-line solutions, including:

“Addressing climate security risks in alliances and major international forums is essential: in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the African Union, theAssociation of Southeast Asian Nations, the Organization of American States,

the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and the UN Security Council, as well as building on the efforts of the G7 foreign ministers through the A New Climate for Peace project.”

Click here for the full statement, including signatories. 

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