Water has been associated with conflict and cooperation between states since the beginning of recorded history. In ancient Mesopotamia, a conflict over the Euphrates River between two Sumerian cities yielded the world’s first recorded treaty. However, water has just as often been weaponized during conflict—water weaponization being the exploitation of the human need for water, by deliberately rendering it scarce and/ or insecure. This briefer will highlight the core elements of water weaponization, and then assess its practice in the Russia-Ukraine war to date.
Tag: climate change
New Report: Climate Security Scenarios in the Balkans
The Balkans region will experience significant climate change-related hazards, including droughts, heatwaves, tropical storms, and wildfires. Given the region’s reliance on hydropower, and its position as a highly trafficked land route for migration to the European Union, these climate impacts could result in cascading security risks. In an interactive scenario exercise hosted by the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) Expert Group, adelphi, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) at the Berlin Climate Security Conference - hosted by adelphi and the German Federal Foreign Office - in October 2022, exercise participants identified two of the most important, or diagnostic, and uncertain drivers of change in the region – primary external investment sources (e.g. European Union [EU]/NATO or China) and regional cohesion. Participants then created four future scenarios which explored how these drivers would combine with climate impacts to create security risks. Analysis of these scenarios yielded five key recommendations for NATO countries and EU leaders:
Pivoting Toward Climate Security: An Interview with Lt. Gen. Richard Nugee (ret.)
Lieutenant General Richard Nugee (ret.) recently joined the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) as a senior advisor. He is the Non-Executive Director for Climate Change and Sustainability for the UK Government. Previously, he spent a year leading the Climate Change and Sustainability Strategic Approach at the Ministry of Defence at the end of his 36-year military career. The following conversation reflects on his pivot toward climate security and his priorities and hopes for future action. It has been edited for length and clarity.
EVENT: Managing Unavoidable Climate Security Risks: U.S. Investments in Resilience
On April 27th, the Center for Climate and Security (CCS) will host the virtual roundtable, “Managing Unavoidable Climate Security Risks: U.S. Investments in Resilience” from 2:00 - 3:30 pm Eastern Time.
EVENT: China’s Climate Security Vulnerabilities
In an era increasingly defined by climate change, the United States and China stand out as the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases—but neither country is immune to its impacts. China, home to nearly 20% of the world’s population and 6.5% of the Earth’s land surface, faces a number of climate security challenges. A recent report published by the Center for Climate and Security identified three categories of risk: (1) direct risks to military and critical infrastructure; (2) compounding risks to internal political stability as climate change threatens food and water security; and (3) external risks as competition over shared resources is heightened and China contends with the impacts of climate on its more vulnerable neighbors.
Briefer: One Year Later: Unraveling Climate and Ecological Security in Ukraine
One year after the invasion, this briefer reassesses the war’s implications for the energy transition, as well as global climate, ecological and food security.
Climate and Ecological Security in the 2023 Annual Threat Assessment
As in previous years, climate and ecological security issues featured in the briefing and submitted testimonies presented by ODNI and the rest of the IC.
Changing Tone, Shifting Priorities and Continuing Progress: Lessons from a House Armed Services Committee Hearing under the New Republican Majority
On February 28, 2023, the Readiness Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee held its first hearing of the new Congress, with new Chairman Mike Waltz (R-FL) presiding, a handful of new Members joining the Subcommittee, and a newly minted Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment, Brendan Owens, joining his service counterparts to discuss the installations portfolio. While the hearing was held in advance of the submission of the President’s Budget Request, there was still much to learn both from new voices and from old voices in new roles.
Briefer: How the United States Can Prevent the Weaponization of Climate Migration in a Warming World: A Humane Approach
This briefer explores the complex and multicausal drivers of migration–from escaping violence to displacement caused by climate change–and suggests how the United States can reform its immigration policies to mitigate the risks of weaponized climate-driven migration.
New Report: Climate Security Scenarios for Sweden
explores China's security vulnerabilities in the face of expected climate change effects, focusing on its key risks, the Chinese response so far, and identifies important uncertainties as conditions continue to develop. The report also makes several recommendations for the United States as it addresses what the Department of Defense has called the "pacing threat" from China.