In a “sobering” assessment report released today, NATO said that climate change is the overarching challenge of our time.
The new report said that the scope, scale and intensity of climate change effects are currently projected to increase, and ramp up even more after 2040. These conditions represent a “threat multiplier” that will have massive security implications for NATO countries on a tactical, operational and strategic level.
The assessment said that climate change will measurably increase risks to security and worsen as the world continues to warm.
It called for a fundamental transformation of NATO’s approach to defense and security and sets NATO as a leading international organization in understanding and adapting to climate change.
The assessment is part of nATO’s action plan to address climate change and security, which NATO leaders adopted in 2021 at the Brussels Summit.
This week, NATO members are meeting at a summit in Madrid. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the alliance’s decision to reduce gas emissions by at least 45% by 2030, down to net zero by 2050.
A new methodology for measuring NATO’s greenhouse gas emissions, both civilian and military, will help guide gas reduction efforts. Stoltenberg said this was “vital,” because only measured emissions can then be cut.
The report, named the Climate Change and Security Impact Assessment (CCSIA), responds to the demand for increased NATO awareness concerning the impact of climate change on security.
The report sets out four key effects of climatic hazards. The first effect is on NATO’s strategic environment. The second, on NATO’s assets and installations. The third is on NATO’s missions and multi-domain operations, and finally, on NATO’s resilience and civil preparedness.
The new report also outlines potential and proposed adaptation measures based on NATO’s analysis and the allied nations’ best practice.