Thus far appeals to climate security have mobilized actions even if the emergency measures have not exceeded the ordinary policy debate. 48. Instead it is more a form of rationality, a way of framing and dealing with an issue, or ‘a generic structure of meaning which organizes dispositions, social relations, and politics according to a rationality of security’ (Huysmans 2006, 24–25). 2, 2012). Should the technology of geo-engineering, or the economic resources required to undertake it, cease to be available in the future, then heating will resume if carbon-dioxide levels remain high. This reflects the logic of a risk society portrayed by Beck. Melissa Leach, James Fairhead and James Fraser, ‘Green Grabs and Biochar: Revaluing African Soils and Farming in the New Carbon Economy’, Journal of Peasant Studies (Vol. Royal Society, Geoengineering the Climate: Science, Governance and Uncertainty (London: Royal Society, 2009); Bipartisan Policy Center, ‘Geoengineering: A National Strategic Plan for Research on the Potential Effectiveness, Feasibility, and Consequences of Climate Remediation Technologies’, Bipartisan Policy Center, Washington DC, 2011. To answer this question, it is necessary to consider how the climate security discourse has been framed. For the Copenhagen School security is about the inscription of enemies and the logic of war. Nick Mabey, Jay Gulledge, Bernard Finel and Katherine Silverthorne, Degrees of Risk: Defining a Risk Management Framework for Climate Security (London: E3G, 2011). (eds), Climate Change, Human Security and Violent Conflict. 4. The other relevant aspect of climate security discourse is the securitization of threats that are uncertain, widespread and whose impact is difficult to quantify. (eds), Globalisation and Environmental Challenges: Reconceptualising Security in the 21 st Century (Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2008). A parallel argument suggests that because technological gambles to alter solar-radiation levels artificially are always going to be highly risky – for many reasons, including the still rudimentary knowledge of crucial aspects of how the earth system functions, and the fact that many proposed geo-engineering measures may be irreversible – avoiding them and focusing on the more important matter of mitigation is more important.44. The crucial international financial mechanism is the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism: , accessed 14 May 2013. Alarming concerns for the hole in the ozone layer transformed the problem into a threat to human health and promoted fairly successful agreements to deal with the issue at an international level. Climate change is transforming the way we think about security. In this context, Beck's analysis of risk society has been used as ‘a means to conceptualise and understand the transformation of Western security policies’ (Rasmussen 2001, 285). The consideration of the discursive formation of security issues provides a new perspective to analyse the environmental security discourse. 3–4, 2012). 33. While financial measures may constitute resilience of a form for states and corporations, it is not a sustainable option for either poor urban dwellers or small-scale rural agricultural producers. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. Is this development going to be implemented in the recent securitization of climate change, even if it is occurring in the context of the war on terror, which has renewed a confrontational approach to security? Are appeals to security stuck in fixed problematic practices that the latter suggests? Climate change as a national security issue In her response, Malini Mehra states that the continued framing of climate change as an environmental issue is a contributing reason for it getting short shrift in terms of policy attention. Burning fossil fuels, clearing land for agriculture and building cities are all causing, among other things, climate change, so, in fact, humanity is already in the process of constructing an artificially manipulated environment. 6. Finally, as Behnke (2000, 91) points out, securitization can open the space for a ‘genuinely political’ constitutive and formative struggle through which political structures (including the practices associated with security) are contested and re-established. Daniel Moran (ed. The rest of this article focuses on three themes that together illustrate the implications of the new context of environmental security: first, rising concerns about urban vulnerabilities; second, the need to think through adaptive measures that tackle environmental change without causing conflict; and third, the possibilities of geo-engineering and potential conflicts over the use of such technologies. While discussions of environmental security that started in the early 1990s never truly abated, 2007 marked the re-emergence of environmental security as a high-profile issue, made both more urgent and more complicated by renewed attention to global climate change.12 In part this new emphasis was because ongoing studies on climate change, summarised in the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007, highlighted the seriousness of the issue.13 In addition, the receding emphasis on the War on Terror in Washington allowed other security agendas to come to the fore. However, given the fact that the international community has not seriously – or successfully – engaged in prevention, as the rapid retreat of the Arctic Ocean ice cap in particular is demonstrating, geo-engineering is now, reluctantly, being considered. The word security entails a specific logic or rationality, independent of the context or the intentions of the speakers. This suggests that it is not possible to simply condemn conflicts as such (and intervene to restore order), but more emphasis has to be placed on the analysis of when and why different groups decide to resort to violence, and on how to prevent these developments. CNA prepared a report, National Security and the Threat of Climate Change , that described how climate change is a threat multiplier for instability. The securitization of climate is an attempt to evoke the symbolic power of an environmental discourse based on interdependence and prevention to establish a framework for security and energy governance at the global level. Climate security suggests a concern for the security of the climate which is understood as the maintenance of stable climatic conditions as a prerequisite of all human enterprises, rather than the security of the climate itself. Focusing only on the ‘sink’ aspects of ecosystems and imposing rules and regulations from afar is not likely to be a process that works smoothly.42 Insofar as these new patterns of rural transformation also dislocate rural economies and speed up rural migration to the burgeoning conurbations of the South, Northern mitigation measures may serve to aggravate rural conditions in Southern states. 7, November 2011). Reflections on the role of security experts and the securitization of political issues, Security and environment linkages on the Mediterranean space, Buzan, Barry and Ole Waever (1998) ‘Liberalism and security: the contradiction of the liberal leviathan’, Working Paper 23, Copenhagen Peace Research Institute (COPRI), Copenhagen, Commission of the European Communities (2007) ‘An energy policy for Europe’, COM(2007)1 final, Brussels, 10 January, On the brink: from mutual deterrence to uncontrollable war, Council of the European Union (2000) ‘Council resolution on a European space strategy’, C371/02, Brussels, 16 November, Ecological metaphors of security: world politics in the biosphere, Threats from the South? In this sense, the focus on emissions tends to limit the holistic perspective suggested by environmental security. 43. The dilemma then becomes one of whether the existing structures should be changed voluntarily or whether it is preferable to wait until ‘structural change will be enforced violently and randomly by environmental crises’ (595). Meanwhile the military should prepare for the consequences of climate change on security. On analytical grounds, it seemed a way to provide a better account of new typologies of vulnerability as well as the potential for conflict and violence with which these vulnerabilities could be associated. There are two aspects to this transformation. Global climate change will aggravate problems such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership and weak … Although it is possible to decide whether or not to securitize an issue—and securitization, as a social process, is determined by a political community rather than by individuals—once an issue is securitized the logic of security necessarily follows. Driving this change in focus is the growing recognition that climate change is happening now, is caused by human activity, and is unlikely to be solved by unilateral action or traditional security measures. Duffield and Waddell argued that: ‘[h]ow conflict has been understood in the post-Cold War period is central to understanding the concept of “security” within human security’ (2006, 43).8 Human security shifted the focus of security from the state to the individual and ‘the legitimate concerns of ordinary people who sought security in their daily life’ (United Nations Development Programme [UNDP] 1994, 22). Nonetheless, the rapid growth of cities in vulnerable locations raises the spectre of frequent disasters in future, and given the likelihood of increased storm intensity as the climate changes, this suggests that mitigation and adaptation need to be considered together. ‘Land grabbing’ is the controversial term now frequently assigned to the process of expanding international commercial control over property in developing countries, and while the complicated ways in which this plays out make simple denunciations of the process unhelpful, the ripple effects of these processes through African property markets in particular are considerable.37 If the influx of foreign investment inflates prices and expectations in rural economies, pricing smallholders out of the market and in the process replacing traditional economies with commercial ones for foreign markets, then in a crucial sense those displaced by the process – and those unable to undertake agricultural activities because of rising land prices – become a new source of social and political instability.38 Where this plays out, climate adaptation, rather than climate change itself, is the cause of instability.39 This reversal of the traditional focus on environmental causes of conflict towards the unintended consequences of adaptation measures is key to thinking through the complicated security consequences of dealing with climate change; simple policy options that ignore complex local circumstances may simply replay the earlier colonial patterns that previously produced dislocation and conflict. 22. BUILD A STRONGER MORE, RESILIENT NATION. In this sense, as de Wilde (2008) highlights, climate security captures a paradox because it is the contemporary way of life that is causing environmental problems. This approach resonates with the human security discourse and its associated practices. Given the delays in setting economies on this path, however, it may well be that directly adjusting the earth's temperature may, through geo-engineering, be attempted in the not-too-distant future. 57. Richard Benedick, Ozone Diplomacy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991). While in some senses environmental matters might be a national-security concern – for instance, when storms cause disruptions or major migrations cause political difficulties in particular states6 – major environmental issues are matters that require international co-operation to be dealt with effectively. Instead, various issues can be transformed into security issues if a political community constructs them as such through a successful speech act that transforms the way of dealing with them. These events have demonstrated that environmental security is not just a matter of concern for the rural periphery, involving conflicts over pastures, irrigation water and food. Alan Robock and Owen Brian Toon, ‘Local Nuclear War, Global Suffering’, Scientific American (Vol. Realists tend to consider environmental problems as belonging to the realm of ‘low’ politics rather than an issue of ‘high’ politics, such as security. Richard Matthew, Jon Barnett, Bryan McDonald and Karen O'Brien (eds), Global Environmental Change and Human Security (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2010). 5 Howick Place | London | SW1P 1WG. 1 I would like to thank the four anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions. It has mobilized political action, emergency measures and even attempts to institutionalize the debate at an international level. 2, 1989); Norman Myers, ‘Environment and Security’, Foreign Policy (No. Thus, given the obvious failures of mitigation thus far, the difficulties of adaptation, and the increasingly urgent need to consider in greater depth the consequences of climate change, the possibility of geo-engineering the climate has also been highlighted recently by both British and American researchers in particular.26 In the 1990s, many climate activists refrained from discussing geo-engineering, arguing that it would constitute a serious distraction from what should be regarded as the priority: implementing mitigation measures. Second, Beck challenges the very possibility of having a security logic based on evoking and governing through emergencies. This mindset, once activated, is not open to negotiation. Climate change is a major threat to agriculture. United Nations Environment Program, GEO5 Global Environment Outlook: Environment for the Future We Want (United Nations Environment Program, 2012). Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2007 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007). Just as large numbers of nuclear weapons make the consequences of warfare so serious that mutual restraint becomes much more important in terms of security,54 now the transformation of the earth system also requires discussion of co-operative measures to keep the planet within the broad ecological parameters that gave rise to human civilisation. In this way, she outlined the complexity of climate change and the variety of people and vulnerabilities involved, and called for a wider and deeper security discourse, which is more attentive to human needs. A high-profile World Bank-sponsored report published in late 2012 warns that, unless serious attention is paid to mitigation soon, the world is heading for a global increase in temperature of at least 4°C.25 Such a set of circumstances would be so disruptive to human civilisation, not to mention to the remnants of the natural planetary system upon which humanity depends, that allowing such a scenario to unfold simply should not be contemplated. 47. He is the author of Environmental Security (University of Minnesota Press, 2002) and Security and Environmental Change (Polity 2009), and co-editor of The Geopolitics Reader (Routledge, 2006). 39, No. These results have largely been used by the study ‘Environment and Security in an International Context’, launched in 1995 by the NATO Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society (CCMS) and carried out by research teams in Germany and in the US (Lietzmann and Vest 1999). 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