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Climate Change as a Non-State Actor

Ladakh,_India_(14687115252)By Neil Bhatiya, Climate and Diplomacy Fellow, The Center for Climate and Security

Over at The Strategy Bridge, I have a new piece on the nature of climate change as a threat to international peace and security, and how the U.S. government is responding to it and should respond to it in the future. In many ways, climate change is a unique challenge to U.S. foreign policy. There is very little precedent for facing a threat this complex and wide in scope. From the article:

Climate change, after all, is not an actor at all; it has no agents acting on its behalf, no ideology or collection of grievances for which it acts. It is rather better to think of it as a discontinuity in the expectations that all actors in the international system have for their physical environment. If that discontinuity is severe enough, it can have a negative impact a whole host of factors that contribute to state stability: agricultural production and food security, access to clean water (for human consumption as well as agriculture), and alter patterns of migration.

Much has been done already by the defense, intelligence, diplomacy, and development agencies within the U.S. government. The task for the next Administration will be to build on what has been done by its predecessors, and continue to invest in the capabilities needed to institute those strategies:

The challenge will be to match [these] approach[s] with the necessary resources, in expenditures and personnel, to carry it out. The coming generation will determine whether we have learned the right lessons from our past nation-building efforts and equipped ourselves to handle the coming storm.

You can read the whole piece at The Strategy Bridge.


1 Comment

  1. Elizabeth Boulton says:

    Hi I’m afraid that link doesn’t work?

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