Mitigating the climate change risks to global security

An opportunity for UK leadership in 2021
Chatham House briefing Published 15 February 2021 Updated 30 March 2021 ISBN: 978 1 78413 456 3
Prime Minister Johnson gives speech at launch of COP26 summit

Rising global temperatures continue to have far-reaching impacts around the world. The physical effects of climate change – unpredictable rainfall, rising sea levels and frequent extreme weather events – have serious consequences for international peace and security, particularly in terms of food security, livelihoods and forced displacement. 

In 2021, the UK is in a unique position to show leadership on the world stage and set the global climate change agenda. In addition to hosting COP26 in November, the UK is also presiding over the G7 throughout the year and will chair the UN Security Council in February. The UK has an opportunity to deliver not just high ambition at COP26 but to lead on mitigating climate change risks to geopolitical stability.