The UK Ministry of Defence’s Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre just released the 5th edition of its “Global Strategic Trends Out to 2045” report, and climate change is featured significantly within its pages. In addition to a thorough look at water, food, energy, biodiversity and humanitarian risks associated with climate change, the report also detailed some specific “defence and security implications” on page 39:
■ Extreme weather events, such as flooding and droughts, are likely to increase in both frequency and intensity in a number of regions. Extreme events will almost certainly continue to cause widespread damage and loss of life, although our warning mechanisms, defences and ability to respond may also improve in the same timeframe.
■ Reductions in the extent of summer Arctic sea-ice could open up new shipping routes during the summer months and boost economic growth in the region – increasing its strategic significance for many countries.
■ Degraded and threatened environments are likely to lead to affected communities migrating – with potentially destabilising consequences.
■ Armed and security forces, both at home and abroad, are likely to be more frequently tasked with providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, perhaps supporting indigenous responders.
■ Without mitigation measures such as carbon capture and storage, continued reliance on coal and hydrocarbons for the majority of energy demand may exacerbate climate change and its knock-on effects.
Read the full report here.