Climate change and environmental conflicts

Authored by: Simon Dalby

Routledge Handbook of Environmental Conflict and Peacebuilding

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  April  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138202528
eBook ISBN: 9781315473772
Adobe ISBN:


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The term ‘climate security’ has recently emerged as a shorthand expression for a broad range of issues that seemingly link conflicts, vulnerabilities and various forms of insecurity to global environmental change. In the United States in particular numerous retired military officers have made repeated public statements about the dangers climate change presents to specifically American national security, echoing increasingly alarming statements from the Pentagon and the White House (Holland 2016). British policy makers have repeatedly raised climate security arguments (Rothe 2016) along with their German counterparts (German Advisory Council on Global Change 2008). Climate has been discussed as a matter of security by the United Nations on a number of occasions now too, although many states prefer to discuss climate as a matter of development and adaptation rather than security (Dalby 2016a). Regardless, alarming statements about resource shortages caused by climate change causing conflicts, if not all-out wars, continue to garner numerous headlines.

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