Climate change is widely recognized as an essential driver and threat multiplier for global security, peace, and stability. The frequency of extreme weather events has increased dramatically in recent years as a consequence of both worsening natural climate variability and man-made influence on weather conditions.
These events represent an escalating cost for the global economy, whether for industrialized or developing countries. It involves a direct cost of rebuilding and an indirect cost in terms of increases in insurance, prices of products and services. Natural disasters, exacerbated by climate change, are highly destabilizing, particularly for the states most vulnerable to adverse weather events and for failing states, most of which are in developing regions of the tropics and subtropics. Populations with deteriorating access to fresh water and food, caused by natural catastrophes exacerbated by climate change, are forced to migrate, thus overstretching the economic, social and administrative capabilities of already fragile regions or failing states and consequently creating conflict and a negative impact on security.
The EU will have to continue to strive to play an enhanced leading role in an international system based on stronger multilateral cooperation and improved global governance. It will have to adapt its external action strategies, policies, and instruments to make them better fit to respond to the security challenges thrown up by climate change by applying a comprehensive mix of policy instruments ranging from the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) with the wider Petersberg tasks to humanitarian and development aid. It will therefore be essential to integrate the impact of natural disasters into CSDP strategies and operational plans with a focus on the countries and regions concerned before, during, and after any natural or humanitarian crisis.
- Commission on Climate Change and Development: Closing the Gaps: Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaptation to Climate Change in Developing Countries. Stockholm, 2009.
- Wold Bank: World Development Report 2010: Development and Climate Change. World Bank, 2009.
- http://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/climate (European Environment Agency, EEA)