An Inhospitable Climate: Why the V4 Needs to Wake Up on Climate Security
Louis Cox-Brusseau published a policy brief "Inhospitable Climate: Why the V4 Needs to Wake Up on Climate Security".
Despite strong indicators that climate change is a growing phenomenon, however, the full impact of a changing climate has not yet been fully understood. In the short-to-mid-term, it seems extremely likely that climate change will contribute indirectly to resource shortages, forced out-migration of peoples from countries particularly susceptible to climate change, and increased political tension and unrest both in countries vulnerable to climate change and in countries affected by climate migration and secondary effects. In the long-term, the threat posed by climate change – even according to conservative estimates – is likely to be existential. Despite the unprecedented capability of modern society to foresee and adapt to emergent issues, however, climate change has stayed a secondary issue – if not wholly off the radar – for some time in public and private fora. It is increasingly clear that reticence to consider the longer-term risks of climate change is no longer a feasible approach and one that smacks of dangerous short-sightedness. Where potential emergent security threats are concerned, even hypothetical risks must be assessed on the basis they might one day develop into real and present dangers. One area in particular where climate change’s impact is far from being fully understood is where climate change intersects with traditional considerations of security, defense, and stability. This nexus – termed climate security for short – is the focus of this paper.
As an area of policy, in brief, climate security’s raison d’etre is to provide a toolkit for predicting how a changing global climate might create and influence adverse security conditions at local, regional and international levels, with particular consideration given to climate change as a threat multiplier in geographic regions particularly vulnerable to a shifting climate, and how less vulnerable regions might nevertheless be affected by the indirect consequences of climate change. In this sense, as the risks posed by climate change are existential and global, the scope of any study on climate security must be rooted in a broad awareness of climate change’s global consequences. Insofar as possible, this study seeks to focus specifically on one particularly climate-sceptic region in the heart of Europe: the Central European nations comprising the Visegrad Four – the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia – or ‘V4’.
You can download the whole policy brief through the PDF button on the right of this article.