“We show in the report that climate change has an effect on security around the world,” says Dr Peter Haldén, scientist at the Swedish Defence Research Agency FOI. Against the backdrop of the recent Bali climate change conference these questions are now more topical than ever.
“The Swedish Defence Commission, in its global analysis ‘Security in Co-operation’, also shows that the question of climate change poses the greatest threat to Swedish security,” says Dr Haldén. “But climate change can also lead to increased international co-operation. We can already see a number of positive examples,” he adds.
Main points that emerge from the FOI report:
• Major changes in climate can affect global security in the longer term
• Resource shortages due to climate change lead not only to conflict but also to co-operation
• Climate changes can weaken states, so leading to complex security situations with breakdown of law and order but a reduction in the risk of inter-state conflicts
• Climate changes combined with large scale environmental degradation may weaken and impoverish vulnerable states
• Climate changes threaten the economic, social and political development of developing countries
• Climate change has an impact on the global economy, so affecting international security
• Measures to reduce climate change, and to adapt society to the changes involved, for example a transition to alternative energy sources, can also affect international security