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Five Climate Security Angles to Consider at the Climate Change Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh

By Erin Sikorsky and Brigitte Hugh

As the 27th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change kicks off in Egypt next week, a wide range of climate change issues will be discussed. Wondering how these discussions connect to or impact security? CCS has you covered with some reading suggestions. 

1. Climate Change & National Security – The Basics

Why should the national security community care about climate change? What are national security actors already doing to tackle climate risks?

2. Climate Change & Geopolitics 

Negotiations at COP27 will occur against a highly charged geopolitical landscape, given the Russian invasion of Ukraine and heightened competition between the United States and China. 

3. Adaptation – Preparing for Existing Threats

As the heatwaves, droughts and floods of summer 2022 brought into sharp relief, climate impacts are already here and shaping security risks. Investments in adaptation and resilience capacities are critical to managing existing threats.

4. Mitigation – Cutting Emissions

In the latest assessments, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made clear that the world is not doing enough to prevent further warming. Given the way current levels of warming are shaping security risks, preventing further warming is just as important as adapting. 

5. Climate Finance

A key agenda item at COP27 will be the fact that the countries being hit hardest by climate impacts today are those that bear the least responsibility for emitting carbon. Climate finance is a tool that can help the hardest hit countries adapt and prepare for a climate changed world, while providing security benefits by building stability and conflict resilience. 

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