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ASP’s Global Security Defense Index on Climate Change: Preliminary Results

U.S._Unified_Command_Plan_Map_2011-04-06Under the direction of Andrew Holland and Xander Vagg, the American Security Project (ASP) has released preliminary results from what will most certainly be an excellent and invaluable resource: “The Global Security Defense Index on Climate Change.” The Index “analyzes how governments around the world and their militaries plan for and anticipate the strategic threats of climate change.” According to the authors:

The results show that over 70% of the nations in the world view climate change as a serious national security issue.

How do they arrive at such a number, and what are the criteria?

The report divides countries into four groups:

1.Countries which definitively state that climate change is a national security threat. For these countries, climate change has been identified as a threat in either official government documents or in statements by high ranking government officials.

2.Countries that label climate change as an environmental issue. These countries tend to label climate as an issue of concern for humanitarian or disaster response, but are not comfortable with labeling it as a “security” threat.

3. Countries that have not defined it as a concern. These countries are often smaller, and lack security planning documents or apparatus all together.

4.Countries for which there is no information available. These countries are often lacking basic government services – many of them are post conflict, and do not have defined defense strategies at all

Based on this set of metrics, we find the following numbers in the report:

Climate Change is a National Security Threat
110 out of 155* – 71% of countries

Climate Change as an Environmental Concern
32/155* – 21% of countries

Climate Change is Not a Defined Concern
13/155* – 8% of countries

No Information Available
41/196* – 21% of countries

*for which information is available

We look forward the the final results of what will hopefully be a continually-updated resource.


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