The European Commission, along with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, has adopted a comprehensive new strategy to address the threats posed by climate change and environmental degradation on peace, security, and defense.
In a press release published on its official website, the European Commission stated that recurring climate phenomena, rising temperatures, sea-level rise, desertification, water scarcity, threats to biodiversity, environmental pollution, and pollution in general, pose a threat to the health and well-being of humanity and can lead to further displacement, migration, outbreaks of diseases, social unrest, instability, and even conflicts. These new threats have prompted allies and partners to update their policies as well.
The statement further explained that the new joint strategy provides a fresh perspective and sets out the European Union’s framework to respond to these challenges in terms of our society, security operations, and the intense geo-political competition for resources and technologies necessary for the green transition.
Through this joint approach, the European Union aims to better integrate the relationship between climate, peace, and security in its foreign policies, with a range of concrete measures across data, policies, missions, defense, and cooperation with partners to ensure that the impacts are taken into account at all levels of foreign policy-making, planning, and operations. The strategy also aims to make the European Union and its partners more resilient and secure in the face of the deepening climate crisis, improving the links between different policies to ensure the alignment of actions and external capabilities to address these challenges.
The strategy, titled “The Joint Communication,” outlines four key priorities. These include enhancing planning, decision-making, and implementation through reliable and evidence-based analysis on the climate-security relationship, activating responses to climate-security challenges in the European Union’s external action, integrating the climate-security relationship into regional and national conflict analyses, enhancing climate adaptation and mitigation measures for civilian and military operations of member states and infrastructure to reduce costs and carbon impacts while ensuring operational effectiveness, and finally, strengthening international partnerships through multilateral fora and with partners such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in line with the European Union’s climate and environmental agenda.