Project launch: Climate change and (in)security

A new online forum designed to spur and scale collaboration in addressing climate security challenges launches today through the Climate Change & (In)Security Project. Official Fellow Dr Tim Clack co-directs the project, which will deliver an ambitious three-year programme of publications, workshops, reports and interviews to unpack the many dimensions of climate change as an existential threat, and assess the ways in which different actors can respond.

Climate change is a security issue at both individual and global scales. It affects everyone everywhere, but some people and places are more vulnerable than others. Climate-related drivers of insecurity result not only in armed conflict but also serve to injure livelihoods in other ways. Drought, famine, extreme weather, as well agricultural and economic decline can, and often do, result in violations of human security. Climate change also poses national security threats, including as an accelerant of political and economic instability, social unrest, and mass displacement of people, and also in the amplification of inter and intra state competition.

Funded by the University of Oxford and the Centre for Historical Analysis and Conflict Research, the Climate Change & (In)Security Project (CCI Project) aims to stimulate informed discussion and further collaboration to bring greater understanding of the destabilising effects of climate-induced scarcity and conflict. 

CCI Project co-director Tim Clack said, “The security implications of climate change are vast, complex, and poorly understood. Climate change isn’t a singular threat, it’s billions of them. This project brings together scholars, practitioners, decision-makers, and others to share insights, inform understandings, and consider possible reactions and mitigations.”

He explained that the project website, which has just gone live, will serve as a forum for collaboration with a diversity of stakeholder voices, including military, stabilisation, development, diplomatic and policy practitioners.

“I hope, with publications and project updates promoted through the website, it will attract interest and engagement from Reuben students,” he said, adding, “Indeed, as younger generations have increasingly focused our attention on climate change issues, it is vital to encourage and facilitate the inclusion of their insights and perspectives.”

The Centre for Historical Analysis and Conflict Research (CHACR) is a “think tank” established on behalf of the British Army to conduct and support research into the enduring nature and changing character of conflict. Dr Ziya Meral, Senior Resident Fellow at CHACR and co-director of the CCI Project, said, “This exciting project will assess how states and inter-governmental bodies can address the climate security challenges of today and the future. Through our research and initiatives, we will stimulate discussion and facilitate the exchange of knowledge that will help governments and societies assess and respond to climate-driven conflict.”