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21 June 2021

Academic team present report to European Parliament

Academics from King’s College London co-authored a study for the European Parliament which examines the impact of climate change on defence and security.

climate change_promo
The report assessed the impact of climate change on security in the European Union. Picture: STOCK IMAGE

The report, Preparing the CSDP for the new security environment created by climate change, was created for the European Parliament’s sub-committee on security and defence and presented to MEPs on 16 June.

The academics’ work will form part of a wide-ranging report being compiled by the sub-committee and will play a part in shaping future policy.

King’s academics, Professor Christoph Meyer (European and International Studies) and Dr Francesca Vantaggiato (Political Economy) co-authored the report with Professor Richard Youngs (Carnegie Europe/Warwick), with Dr Duraid Jalili (Defence Studies) acting as reviewer.

The report discussed the security implications of climate change for the EU and made a series of recommendations concerning how the bloc’s common security and defence policy (CSDP) might integrate climate factors into its mission.

Prof Meyer told the committee: “We argue that climate impacts are exacerbating multiple tensions. The most acute and immediate security concerns stem from the inter-action between a degraded environment and climate-change impacts leading to diminished food security and competition for resources between farmers and pastoralists.

“The destabilising effects of these problems raise the prospects of humanitarian crisis due to famine and resource conflicts. These then feed into prominent security and political stability concerns for the EU, especially recruitment into terrorist movements and forced migration.”

I believe that this is a very good basis to start to draw our report based on these inputs of science and experts

Thomas Waitz, MEP

Among its broad recommendations, the study highlighted the need for a “place-based approach” to design tailored policies and missions with the involvement of local actors, the adaptation of mandates, plans and capabilities for CSDP missions to harsher conditions and tackling new challenges such as environmental crime, and a preventive approach that joins up the various EU funding elements within a consistent and preventive security strategy.

The MEP Thomas Waitz who acts as the rapporteur for a forthcoming parliament report on this topic, praised the study, telling the sub-committee: “I believe that this is a very good basis to start to draw our report based on these inputs of science and experts.”

The study was supported by and submitted to the European Parliament via the consultancy Ecorys.

You can read the report in full here.

In this story

Francesca Pia Vantaggiato

Senior Lecturer in Public Policy

Christoph Meyer

Professor of European & International Politics