By now, we all probably know that climate change is one of the greatest environmental hazards facing the Earth today, but how many of us know about the security risks it poses?
According to a recent report by retired military officials, the melting of the ice in the Arctic poses significant security challenges for American administration as it could potentially cause conflict in the region.
The Center for Naval Analyses Military Advisory Board (CNA) is a leading government-funded military research organization. In its report entitled ‘National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change’, the authors describe how the consequences of climate change “pose severe risks for [US] national security.”
The melting of the ice in the region has led to a very real possibility of an ice-free Arctic zone by mid 21st century. Such a prospect is not only damaging to the environment, it is also strategically troubling. Russia’s attempt to access warmer seas and China’s growing demand for oil can lead to a scramble for resources and shipping lanes in the Arctic. This, in turn, will have a negative impact on the US security interests in the region.
“To protect our national security interests both at home and abroad, the United States must be more assertive and expand cooperation with our international allies to bring about change and build resilience,” says the report.