Two new reports prepared for the U.K. and the U.S. militaries suggest that the consequences of climate change are immense in scope and will create severe, sustained challenges for the world and its growing population.
The fifth edition of Global Strategic Trends, prepared for the U.K. Ministry of Defence, says climate change will likely create a lengthy list of defence and security implications in the next three decades.
Key predictions include more sexual violence in war zones, failed and failing cities posing major security repercussions for nations and more extreme weather events causing widespread damage and loss of life. The report also raised the prospect of the increased use of nuclear energy increasing the likelihood of fissile material being obtained by non-state actors,
Written for military and political leaders, the 172-page report is stark, frightening and pulls no punches.
“In the process of identifying threats, challenges and defence and security implications for policy- and decision-makers, there may be a tendency for the document to seem rather negative in its outlook. This is an inevitable consequence of its purpose. There is of course scope for human ingenuity to have a significant impact on the future, and hence there are considerable grounds for optimism.”