SDD2021

Borderless Security Crises and Multilateral Responses

Special Session 1

Security Threats Posed by Climate Change and Military Responses

Background

As described by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, “Climate disruption is a crisis amplifier and multiplier” that “exacerbates the risks of instability and conflict,” the accelerating impact of climate change is quickly emerging as a new security threat. Floods, droughts, and abnormal temperatures are impacting how militaries conduct drills and manage their facilities. Moreover, climate change has led to growing numbers of refugees and deterioration of food security, which have exacerbated existing conflicts and disputes in certain regions.

Based on the conviction that climate change impacts national security, major military powers have begun to analyze the factors behind the Earth’s environmental changes, and formulate multi-faceted responses to climate change. During this process, there have been efforts in the national defense realm to reduce reliance on fossil fuels by focusing on new sources of energy. This special session aims to analyze the impact that climate change has on national security and defense, and discuss efforts by the military to maintain carbon neutrality.

Climate change has worsened food and water shortages, and has led to increased number of climate refugees who are forced to cross borders. As tensions over climate refugees remain unabated and the competition intensifies over scarce resources such as food and housing, there is a growing possibility of conflicts between affected countries. Therefore, it is important to analyze the types of conflicts that are associated with climate change and discuss how militaries could manage and prevent such conflicts from taking place.

Lastly, this session will discuss the humanitarian responses that the military could take during disasters caused by climate change. As climate change amplifies the scale and frequency of global disasters, the military’s role in responding to these disasters cannot be overemphasized. This session will involve discussions about the possibilities of international military cooperation such as sharing and exchanging information to deal with disasters more effectively, and capacity-building for developing countries to deal with climate disasters.

Key Topics of Discussion

Impact of climate change on national defense and security

Each nation’s cyber security strategy and crisis management plan

International standards regarding cyberspace and international cooperation tasks