Security and Climate Change: Are we Living in 'The Age of Consequences'?
The US Department of Defense regards climate change as an ‘accelerant of instability and conflict’. A former head of the US Pacific Command described it as the most significant long-term security threat in his region. US federal agencies have recently been mandated to fully consider the impacts of climate change in the development of national security policy. This step-change in the US approach reflects the Pentagon’s conclusion that climate impacts are a ‘threat multiplier’ for security concerns – not just for the future – but which pose ‘an immediate risk to national security’.
A new documentary from the US, The Age of Consequences, explores the links between climate change and security, including in current events in Syria, Egypt, the Sahel and Bangladesh. Our high-level panel will reflect on key sections from the documentary, which will be screened during the event, and explore whether security strategists, militaries and policy-makers in nations other than the US are fully cognisant of the risks posed by a changing climate, and whether they are ready to anticipate and respond to its potentially destabilizing effects.
The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A.
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