Preparing NATO for climate-related security challenges
Think tank: Chatham House
Author(s): Anum Farhan; Signe Kossmann; Armida van Rij
July 4, 2023
This report from UK think tank Chatham House looks at NATO’s opportunity to both strengthen operational resilience and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The impacts of climate change and extreme weather events have the potential to threaten capabilities across all of NATO’s domains and impact its ability to deter and defend. To meet these challenges, NATO should adapt by strengthening its political and institutional structures, its mechanisms for anticipating climate risks and its operational resilience. In doing so, it can also improve operational effectiveness and gain military advantage. Climate change adaptation and mitigation should not be seen as being in competition with addressing traditional security threats – these risks are all intrinsically connected. NATO can take a leading role in building the political will and understanding among allies to ensure climate security remains high on the agenda. The 2023 NATO Summit and the forthcoming annual Climate Change and Security Impact Assessment are important opportunities to reflect on NATO’s current climate security policies and their efficacy. Importantly, if NATO wants to remain an effective organization able to deliver on its three core tasks, it will need to adapt to be able to tackle the systemic risks caused by climate change.