1st Edition

Climate Change, Conflict and (In)Security Hot War

Edited By Timothy Clack, Ziya Meral, Louise Selisny Copyright 2024
    402 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    402 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book offers a multidisciplinary exploration of how climate change is impacting conflicts, contention, and competition in the world.

    The volume examines how climate change is creating and exacerbating insecurities for millions of people globally, and how states, inter-governmental bodies, and others are attempting to meet challenges today and in the near and medium term. It shows that climate change insecurity is relevant to a battery of security areas, including warfighting, stabilisation, human security, influence, and resilience and capacity building. The volume provides insights into how climate change has and will impact security at different scales and in different localities, including national and ethnic tensions, food and water security, resource competition, mass displacement, and even the recruitment profiles and operations of violent and extremist organisations. With contributions from pioneering researchers and practitioners, the book discusses shifting operational requirements and responsibilities, and the need for clarity around the size and shape of capacity gaps.

    In addition to practitioners and policy-makers working in these areas, the book will be of significant interest to researchers and students of defence studies, peace and conflict studies, climate change and environmental security, and International Relations.

    Introduction: Climate Change and (In)Security

    Timothy Clack, Ziya Meral, and Louise Selisny

    Section I: Climate Security Contexts 

    1. Cascading and Systemic Risks from Environmental Change

    Tim Benton, Neil Morisetti, and Oli Brown

    2. Geopolitics and Security in the Changing Arctic

    Kimberly Marten

    3. Geopolitics and Security in the Changing Antarctic

    Samuel Jardine and Timothy Clack

    4. Security Politics of Climate Change in the Levant

    Ana Kumarasamy and Simon Mabon

    5. Decentering Climate Security: The Research and Policy Implications of Sudden-Onset and Slow-Onset Climate Change

    Tom Deligiannis

    6. A New Framework for Understanding Risk: The Role of Climate Change in the Northern Triangle

    Lauren Herzer Risi

    7. Climate Change, Insecurity, and Economic Transformation

    Matthew Paterson

    Section II:  Defence and Security Implications

    8. Towards a Greener Alliance: NATO’s Energy Efficiency and Mitigation Efforts

    Katarina Kertysova

    9. The Evolving Climate Change Threat: UK Defence Preparations

    Richard Nugee and Timothy Clack 

    10. Maritime Response to Climate Change

    Sherri Goodman, Pauline Baudu, and Rachel Fleishman

    11. Climate Disruption to Hidden Networks: Understanding Human-Animal-Ecological Relationships for Conflict and Security

    Alex Tasker

    12. Climate Intelligence in Theory and Practice

    Louise Selisny, Timothy Clack, Tristan Burwell, and Richard Nugee

    13. Operational Risks and Opportunities from Climate Change on Western Militaries’ Conservation Activities

    Richard Milburn

    Section III: Framings and Reflections

    14. Ecological Security: The New Military Operational Priority for Humanitarian and Disaster Response

    Thammy Evans and Gary Lewis

    15. The Hyperthreat and Politico-Military Response: Outcomes from a Military Appreciation of Entangled Security

    Elizabeth Boulton

    16. A Reflection on 30 Years of Climate and Conflict

    Thomas Homer-Dixon


    Timothy Clack is Chingiz Gutseriev Fellow at the University of Oxford, UK. He is co-editor of various titles including Cultural Heritage and Armed Conflict (2022) and The World Information War (2021).

    Ziya Meral is Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute.

    Louise Selisny is a Research Associate at the University of Oxford, UK.

    'The book completes its mission to show that climate change is a driver of conflict, an obstacle to conflict resolution, and a creator of strategic shocks, tensions, opportunities, and risks… A must read for anyone interested in defence, security, or climate change.'

    General Tom Middendorp, International Military Council on Climate & Security (former Chief of Defence of The Netherlands)

    'Climate change is the single most significant long-term defence issue. Its consequences will shape threats, challenge governments (as competition for food, water increases) undermine military capabilities, and drive economic instability. The book offers insights that are at once timely, important, and alarming.'

    Tobias Ellwood MP, Chair of the UK House of Commons Defence Committee, 2020-2023

    'The climate crisis is the top geopolitical issue of our time. From the High North to equatorial Africa, global heating will be the major driver of the conflicts and threats we will face in the coming decades. This vital and timely book challenges us to marshal a much better response, urgently.'

    Tom Fletcher, University of Oxford (former UK Foreign Policy Adviser to three UK Prime Ministers)

    'There are uncomfortable gaps between knowledge, practice, and reality when it comes to how climate change is shaping human and hard security. This book is an important contribution to closing that gap, showing how to stop worrying about securitizing climate and start climatizing security.'

    Hon. Sharon E. Burke, Ecospherics (former US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy)

    'Climate Change and Insecurity is a clarion call for the military and security sectors. This exceptional collection shows how climate change and its impacts are reshaping the world and how nations must prepare for what is to come.'

    Captain Dr Andrea Cameron, US Naval War College

    'For those familiar with this field of study and the publication scarcity associated with this topic, this book represents a refreshing topic review, with a few novel moments. For those unfamiliar with this topic, Climate Change, Conflict and (In)Security: Hot War is a must-read, as it provides an insightful and expeditious general overview.'

    Zachary Z. Horsington, Small Wars Journal