A New Focus: Climate and Security

By CDS Staff

It’s no secret climate change is going to have an impact on our national security and global stability. Perhaps most importantly is how these changes will affect humanity’s most basic necessities – food and water. In 1948, the United Nations recognized the universal right to food. And in 2010, the U.N. recognized the right to water. Yet over 800 million people lack these basic resources globally. What’s most alarming though, is how anthropogenic induced climate change is expected to further exacerbate food and water insecurity. Stresses from climate change will likely be non-linear, unpredictable, geographically variant, as well as time variant. Increased risks on humanity’s basic resources will therefore potentially help stir political unrest and perhaps even conflict. Anticipating such instability will be of increasing critical importance to intelligence agencies and policymakers as they seek to avoid, mitigate, and prepare for these risks.

Will conflict break out?


This is why we need to understand how exactly climate change will affect our resources. Who will be most vulnerable? Where will people be forced to migrate? Which regions are most at risk? Will conflict break out? Over the course of the next year, the Center for Development and Strategy will be rolling out a new program called the Environmental Security Unit to help answer these some of questions. ESU will begin by recruiting outstanding undergraduate and graduate students, as well as young professionals for a one-year Fellowship with CDS. Fellows will write and publish scholarly research as well as blogs devoted to the intersection between climate and security. Fellows will be awarded small stipends.


Applications to be a part of ESU’s inaugural class of fellows will open on December 1st, 2016