Presentation on theme: "IR 3001 Environmental Security Dr Di Rienzo. Environmental Security Issues Environmental Change in Violent Conflict Environmental Change & National Security."— Presentation transcript:
Overview of Environmental Security The environment is the most trans-national of trans-national issues, and its security is an important dimension of peace, national security, and human rights that is just now being understood Over the next 100 years, one third of current global land cover will be transformed, with the world facing increasingly hard choices among consumption, ecosystem services, restoration, and conservation and management Environmental security is central to national security, comprising the dynamics and interconnections among the natural resource base, the social fabric of the state, and the economic engine for local and regional stability While the precise roles of the environment in peace, conflict, destabilisation and human insecurity may differ from situation to situation and as such are still being debated in relation to other security and conflict variables, there are growing
We seek a cleaner global environment to protect the health and well-being of our citizens. A deteriorating environment not only threatens public health, it impedes economic growth and can generate tensions that threaten international stability. To the extent that other nations believe they must engage in non-sustainable exploitation of natural resources, our long-term prosperity and security are at risk. - National Security Strategy for a New Century
Security and the Control of Geographical Space Geopolitics always saw the environment as important, but as a resource to be exploited for wealth, power and security Motivators for wars and imperialism: Controlling key resources for trade and industrialisation Key lanes of communication (e.g. Suez, Bosphorus) Resource Wars - E.g. Oil and Water in the Middle East The Space race: securing a commons for strategic purposes Nuclear fallout does not recognise official borders: threat of M.A.D. affects non-aligned states
Environmental Change & National Security Environmental change can put at risk the quality and quantity of resources available to a country Environmental change can put at risk the economic strength of many countries Environmental change poses risks to population health in many countries Some environmental risks come from beyond a countrys borders and are unintentional Linking environmental issues to security issues may not help solve environmental problems.
Environmental Impact of Armed Forces The US military, and associated industrial complex, may be responsible for 10% of the of the United States total carbon emission. As such, it is responsible for 2-3% of total global emissions. That is to say, more than Australia, Finland, Sweden and New Zealand combined. The US military generates more toxins than the top five US chemical companies The former Soviet Union dumped up to 17,000 containers of nuclear waste and up to 21 nuclear reactors into the Barents and Kara seas One quarter of all the worlds jet fuel is consumed by military aircraft
Environmental Change & Human Security Where people live and the nature of environmental changes in those places How susceptible people are to damage caused by environmental changes People capacity to adapt to environmental change