How might the military respond to climate change?



The purpose of a military is to protect its citizens and interests from a wide range of risks. Extreme weather events, natural catastrophes, and the failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation are highlighted as serious risks in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2017. The probability of these risks occurring is expected to rise as greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and globalization accelerate into the future. What role will the military play in this increasingly unstable world?

We live in a globally interconnected world. Consider the impact of a disruption in our food supply. Climate change and extreme weather in one location can have devastating shocks on global food prices which can lead to regional instability. Many argue that food price spikes correlated quite strongly with the Arab Spring. As well, the tensions in Syria can also be partially traced back to drought and the influx of farmers moving to cities. The military is constantly assessing strategies which consider taking both preventative and reactionary approaches to these risks.

Tickets for the Toronto screening of “Age of Consequences”
are currently on sale for only $10.

Climate change is thus a catalyst for instability and militaries across the world are responding to the issue by advocating for climate change mitigation and adaptation. So just exactly what are the military strategists thinking in terms of the growing risk of climate change?

The Center for Development and Strategy (CDS) is proud to present a screening of the new AGE OF CONSEQUENCES film at the University of Toronto this upcoming March 23rd. The film explores climate change and its effects on conflict through the lens of national security and global stability. Specifically, the film unpacks how water and food shortages, drought, extreme weather, and sea-level rise function as ‘accelerants of instability’ and ‘catalysts for conflict’ in volatile regions of the world.

As a non-partisan and open-source think tank, CDS’s mission is to provide an outlet for both research and discussion on matters related to sustainability, development, and global security. In putting on the event at the University of Toronto, CDS is hoping to increase awareness and understanding of the role climate change has on conflict situations. The film effectively communicates matters that are in critical need of further discussion.

Tickets are currently being sold on the CDS website for only $10. Additional information about the film can be found at the Age of Consequences website and lastly, updates for the event can be found on the Facebook event page.

CDS would like to thank the sponsors for the event: TD Bank, University of Toronto’s Master of Science in Sustainability Management Student Executive Council (MSEC), and the University of Toronto Environmental Resource Network (UTERN).

Photo Courtesy of SkitterPhoto