Where is climate change the biggest threat to security?

The international security environment writ large will face threats and pressures from climate change. Climate change, interacting with other risks to international security, is likely to have the greatest impact on unstable, conflict-prone, and strategically-significant regions. Political and demographic realities, combined with climate change, food and water insecurity, suggest that the Middle East, North, East and Central Africa, as well as certain nations in Central Asia, will in the near-medium term face the most significant security risks from a changing climate. However, a growing coastal and urban population in the broader Asia-Pacific region, coupled with projected climate change-exacerbated stresses on water security, mean that the nations of the Asia-Pacific are also particularly vulnerable to climate change effects. A rapidly-melting Arctic, and shifting geopolitical dynamics in the area (including a worsening relationship between Russia and its Arctic neighbors) could combine to increase geopolitical tensions in a relatively stable area. Sea level rise also constitutes an existential threat to low-lying island nations. In identifying future climate-security “hotspots,” however, a better integration of climate and natural resources stresses into our analyses of state fragility is needed.

Read more:

2015: National Security Implications of Climate-Related Risks and a Changing Climate, U.S. Department of Defense
2014: USAID: Climate Change and Conflict, Findings and Lessons Learned from Five Case Studies in Seven Countries
2013: Underpinning the MENA Democratic Transition: Delivering Climate, Energy and Resource Security. Mabey, N. et al., E3G
2012: Climate Change & International Security: The Arctic as a Bellwether. Huebert, R. et al., Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)
2012: Climate Change, Migration, and Conflict in Northwest Africa Rising Dangers and Policy Options Across the Arc of Tension. Werz, M. and Conley, L. Center for American Progress and Heinrich Böll Stiftung
2012: Cooperation from Strength: The United States, China and the South China Sea. Cronin, P. et al., Center for a New American Security (CNAS)
2011: Climate Security Vulnerability in Africa. Busby, J. Presentation, Woodrow Wilson Center
2010: Climate Change and Mediterranean Security. Brauch, H.-G., Barcelona: IEMed.
2010: Locating Climate Insecurity: Where Are the Most Vulnerable Places in Africa? Busby, J. et al. Austin, Texas: The Robert S. Strauss Center.
2010: Climate-Related Impacts on National Security in Mexico and Central America. Feakin, T. and Depledge, D. Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).
2010: Organization for Security Co-operation in Europe (OSCE): Shifting Bases, Shifting Perils: A Scoping Study on Security Implications of Climate Change in the OSCE Region and Beyond
2009: National Intelligence Council: The Impact of Climate Change to 2030.  Commissioned Research and Conference Reports: China, India, Russia, Southeast Asia & Pacific Islands, North Africa,  Mexico, The Caribbean and Central America,
2009: Rising Temperatures, Rising Tensions. Climate Change and the Risk of Violent Conflict in the Middle East. Brown, O. and A. Crawford. Winnipeg: International Institute for Sustainable Development.
2008: For the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark: Assessing the security implications of climate change for West Africa Country case studies of Ghana and Burkina Faso, Brown, O., Crawford, A. IISD
2007: Climate change as the ‘new’ security threat: implications for Africa. Brown, O./Hammill, A./McLeman, R.  International Affairs 83: 6, 1141-1154
2007: Climate Change: A New Threat to Middle East Security. Freimuth, L./Bromberg, G./Mehyar, M./Al Khateeb, N.  EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East.