NATO prepares for climate change

The impacts of climate change are causing new risks in the field of international security, therefore NATO has to adjust its strategies


Several neighbouring regions of NATO will be dramatically affected by climate change - especially the southern Mediterranean area and Central-Asia. For numerous institutions and experts like the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union (EU) or the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), the political stability in these regions is vulnerable. But the infrastructure of the NATO forces also has to deal with climate change outcomes, for example due to sea level-rise.

NATO is currently overhauling its strategic concept to address these threats. Anders Fogh Rasmussen considers NATO as the ideal place to discuss new security risks and risk potentials. Issues like energy security and the impact of climate change are central for him. In the context of the “NATO European Security Co-operation Course“ at the NATO School in Oberammergau, Achim Maas, project manager at adelphi, discussed with army officers from NATO partner countries these new security risks and risk potentials, as well as their impact on the international security agenda. He focused on the question of how NATO – as a regional organisation – and its partners can make a contribution to avoid climate-sensitive crises. In this context he analysed current political processes at the United Nations, the EU and the OSCE to highlight potential synergetic effects between the organisations.