The Economics of Planetary Security: Climate Change as an Economic Conflict Factor

December 13th 2016 - 10:42

In the face of a rapidly-changing geopolitical landscape, contemporary perspectives on security have drastically changed in reaction to new conflict factors that have arisen out of, and are related to, unpredictable patterns of climate change. Already, in both the short and long term future, it is increasingly likely that conflict will result from a multitude of such stress factors. Environmental stress, stress caused by climate change in particular, is only one of these factors. Nonetheless, in light of its diverse and multiplier impacts, it remains an important one.

This report, intended for policy makers and business professionals, examines the economic aspects of the relatively under-explored concept of planetary security. Planetary security refers to the role of the environment in geopolitical risks and conflicts. The report evaluates the vulnerabilities and resilience of countries to environmentally induced conflict. It first discusses the concept of planetary security and the role of economics therein, and then builds a quantitative framework and monitor capturing the vulnerabilities and resilience of different countries.

The monitor is innovative in its inclusion of a variety of security risks related to the transition to a low carbon economy: Conflict Vulnerability, Climate Change Vulnerability, Low Carbon Risk and Economic Resilience. These layers are combined to create a Consolidated Risk Layer and a Consolidated Resilience Layer, in order to provide insight into how resilience to the above vulnerabilities could be bolstered.

The monitor and accompanying report, have been produced by The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) and Clingendael Institute as a key input to the Planetary Security Initiative conference, which took place in The Hague, the Netherlands on December 5 and 6, supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To access the Planetary Security Monitor click here.

To download the report, please click on the button on the right.

Michel Rademaker is the deputy Director of HCSS. He has fifteen years of hands-on experience as an officer in The Royal Netherlands Army, where he held various military operational and staff posts and also served a term in former Yugoslavia. He has a masters degree obtained at the University of Tilburg. After leaving the armed forces, Mr. Rademaker went on to work at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) as a project and program manager and senior policy advisor on security topics for ten years. Eg. as NATO RTO project leader, he and his team developed serious gaming assessment methods and conducted several assessments of security technologies, and worked on numerous strategic security topics.