A changing climate: exploring the implications of climate change for UK defence and security
Adger, N; Cox, K; Knack, A; et al.Robson, M; Paille, P; Freeman, J; Black, J; Harris, R
Date: 1 June 2020
This study explores the effects of climate change on UK defence and security Temperatures have been rising across the globe since the 1950s.1 This trend is expected to continue and temperatures are predicted to increase by 2.3–3.5°C by 2100, despite the 2016 Paris Agreement commitment to limit the global temperature rise to ...
This study explores the effects of climate change on UK defence and security Temperatures have been rising across the globe since the 1950s.1 This trend is expected to continue and temperatures are predicted to increase by 2.3–3.5°C by 2100, despite the 2016 Paris Agreement commitment to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C. 2 Floods, heavy rainfall, droughts, heatwaves, storms, hurricanes and other extreme weather events are also likely to become more frequent in the future.3 In the UK, flooding is expected to be one of the most pressing climate change risks to people, communities and buildings over the next five years,4 and rising temperatures could also induce heat-related deaths and the overheating of military installations, homes, hospitals, care homes, offices, schools and prisons.5 In this context, there is growing recognition that climate change may aggravate existing threats to international peace and security. The UN Security Council, for example, acknowledges climate change as one of the most urgent challenges to the maintenance of international security. Since 2019 the US, French and New Zealand defence departments have each published reports on the impacts of, and links between, defence and climate change. DCDC’s 2018 Global Strategic Trends – The Future Starts Today (GST6) similarly highlights a wide range of implications of climate change on defence and security. Building on this work, the present study offers fresh insights into the defence implications of climate change in the UK context, as well as corresponding recommendations for the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). This Global Strategic Partnership (GSP) study was commissioned by the UK MOD to inform the ongoing development of the MOD’s climate change strategy. Its overarching objectives are to identify the strategic implications of climate change for MOD activities out to 2035, and to support the development of an approach for assessing and responding to these implications. In support of these objectives, this report has two research purposes: 1. Developing a conceptual framework to assist decision makers in mapping and understanding a broad range of potential implications of climate change for the MOD’s activities. 2. Providing strategies for risk mitigation and adaptation in response to strategic implications of climate change identified through a literature review and research interviews. To deliver the study objectives, the study team undertook a review of publicly available literature, conducted 12 research interviews, and delivered four analysis workshops.
College of Life and Environmental Sciences
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