NATO: Climate Change Poses Significant Threat Multipliers
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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has stated that climate change poses “significant threat multipliers that will shape the security environment in areas of concern to the Alliance” in a resolution adopted by NATO's Parliamentary Assembly, which is urging the 28 NATO members to support a legally binding agreement at the Paris Climate Change Conference in November-December.The resolution was adopted on 12 October 2015, during the Parliamentary Assembly's annual meeting in Stavanger, Norway, where lawmakers called on NATO to improve strategic awareness of the security threats posed by climate change.

NATO12 October 2015: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has stated that climate change poses “significant threat multipliers that will shape the security environment in areas of concern to the Alliance.” The statement is included in a resolution adopted by NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly, which is urging the 28 NATO members to support a legally binding agreement at the Paris Climate Change Conference in November-December.The resolution was adopted on 12 October 2015, during the Parliamentary Assembly’s annual meeting in Stavanger, Norway, where lawmakers called on NATO to improve strategic awareness of the security threats posed by climate change.

Climate change has been gaining increasing importance on the NATO agenda. The 2010 Strategic Concept for the Defence and Security of NATO Members stated that climate change has the power to shape the Euro-Atlantic security environment, with “the potential to significantly affect NATO planning and operations.” Building on this, Allied lawmakers are now calling on NATO to “take the next step” and “increase the frequency of military and political consultations on climate change within NATO.” NATO has reported that Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, will lay out in writing his thoughts on the resolution by the end of 2015.

During NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly, French Parliamentarian Philippe Vitel stated that the security of Alliance members is at stake, emphasizing that climate change is increasing the risk of violent conflict by exacerbating known sources of conflict, such as poverty and economic shocks. A detailed report on the international security implications of climate change for the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Science and Technology Committee warns that “climate change is arguably the most critical and difficult challenge of the 21st century.”

In the resolution, the Assembly, inter alia, urges NATO members to: negotiate an “ambitious, legally-binding, rules-based, universal, flexible, balanced, sustainable and dynamic agreement” in Paris; shape national climate change policies so they consider the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with particular reference to the fight against poverty and sustainable growth; recognize climate change-related risks as significant threat multipliers in their foreign and security policies; increase the frequency of military and political consultations on climate change within NATO; examine how NATO’s cooperative security efforts can take into account climate change-related risks, particularly in the most vulnerable areas; and support and enhance NATO’s Green Defence Framework and Smart Energy efforts.

According to NATO, the Parliamentary Assembly brought together more than 250 senior members of parliament from the Allied countries, and more than two-dozen associate and observer delegations. NATO further indicates that the Assembly: serves as a bridge between voters and the NATO leadership; has consistently urged concerted global responses to climate change challenges; and has repeatedly called for including climate change in NATO’s political agenda. [NATO Parliamentary Assembly Press Release] [2010 Strategic Concept for the Defence and Security of NATO Members] [NATO Parliamentary Assembly Resolutions Webpage]

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