Abstract

Climate change has been identified as one of the most serious threats to national security around the world, as it puts pressures on populations, economies, livelihoods and natural resources. Increases in the incidence of extreme weather events and long-term changes in climate are already challenging water and food security and exacerbate state fragility and conflict. Additionally, transitioning to renewable energy will not just influence the power balance between countries, but will also reconfigure trade flows and create new interdependencies around renewables and commodities.

This report is one of the first by a cross-disciplinary panel of experts – providing a detailed background of the risks and opportunities that climate change poses to the UK’s security, providing evidence based on recent events, and future expectations based on the latest avail able models. Looking ahead, the report describes an opportunity for the UK to develop more sophisticated and useful forecasting and strategic insight tools that can identify and measure climate risks, provide early warnings for climate security-related tipping points and also help policy makers carry out climate security risk assessments to identify where resilience needs to be built in and/or safeguarded.

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