Institute for Environmental Security
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We Need to Wake up and Wake up in Time
CCSC - II Conference brings together climate experts and security community
9 October 2009
On 7 and 8 October 2009, the Institute for Environmental Security and its partners met at the European Parliament in Brussels to discuss the state of affairs in the lead up to the December UNFCCC COP15 meeting in Copenhagen, focusing particularly on the aspect of Atlantic Relations on the first day and on Glacial Melt in the Hindu Kush/Himalayas/Tibetan Plateau, the security dimensions of climate change and the Climate Change and the Military Project on the second day.
?We need to wake up and wake up in time,? were the words of Air Marshal A.K. Singh, the Chairman of the CCTM Military Advisory Council and Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi during the opening of the conference. This sentiment was echoed all through the two day conference with the panellists and speakers agreeing that there is now a pressing need for the military to play an important role in raising awareness on the security implications of climate change.
Climate change is the force shaping the 21st Century. Together with globalisation, population growth and technological developments, climate change will fundamentally alter the way we live. Moreover, unmitigated climate changes can be considered as potential sources of conflict and disruption of peace: environmental issues, such as depleting resources, are now recognised as major variables in regional instability and conflict. They can exacerbate tensions resulting from ethnic, religious and other local differences such as socio-economic disparities between urban and rural areas, rapid economic development and border disputes.
There is no clear-cut solution to this complex issue, but one of the conclusions of the conference was that the issue of climate change should not be tackled by governments with an ?us versus them? approach. There is a need for a joint and comprehensive agenda for action and for integrated thinking since climate change has no boundaries.