Past eventResearch Event

Security and Climate Change: Are we Living in 'The Age of Consequences'?

1 December 2016 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Chatham House, London


Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, CEO, American Security Project; Member, Foreign Affairs Policy Board, US Department of State
Major General Munir Muniruzzaman, President and CEO, Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies; Former Military Advisor to the President of Bangladesh 
Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, Director of Strategy, UK Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy; University College London; Former UK Government Climate and Energy Security Envoy
Dr Patricia Lewis, Research Director, International Security, Chatham House
Chair: Rt Hon Sir Oliver Letwin MP, Former UK Cabinet Office Minister



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.