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Climate-Security: A Reality, Not a Narrative

This blog is also featured on the humanitarian news site, AlertNet

AlertNet posted an interesting piece yesterday titled “Climate Conversations – Climate-security as agent provocateur.” The author, Katie Harris of the London-based Overseas Development Institute, rightly calls for “nuance” in making the case for the potential security and conflict implications of climate change. The essence of the article is that though the “frame” or “narrative” of climate-security may have generated increased interest and action from the world’s policy-makers, it can be dangerous if done poorly. We couldn’t agree more. Also, as Harris states, “for those who want to identify the possible connections between a changing climate and the potential for increased violent conflict, nuance is key…” Indeed it is! However, despite these wise words of caution, the article omits a couple key points that may address some of the author’s concerns, including the significant evolution of climate and security scholarship in recent years, and how climate-security is actually defined in this space, specifically in relation to conflict.


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