Main page content

Climate.Changes.Security.: Navigating Climate Change and Security Challenges in the OSCE Region

Climate.Changes.Security.: Navigating Climate Change and Security Challenges in the OSCE Region

To illustrate the diverse effects of climate change, national and international experts from the OSCE participating States were asked to share their expertise and views. As women and girls are often among the groups most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, the authors were particularly asked to give due consideration to gender-specific aspects where deemed appropriate.

Chapter 1 provides the background for the publication. The latest scientific findings on climate change, political developments and assessments are highlighted, as is the link between greenhouse gases and the role of the military. Despite clear evidence of climate change, the factor of disinformation must not be underestimated. It is on the rise, inter alia, in the form of climate denialism, which falsely states that there is no man-made climate change (iep. 2023). In May 2023, the 28 organisations contributing to the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) fact-checking network revealed that 12% of 1,361 articles checked focussed on climate change-related disinformation, a figure which even exceeded disinformation on Ukraine (11%). Therefore, a historical perspective presents the difference between the two “climatechange” phenomena – “natural climate change” and “man-made (anthropogenic)” climate change.

Chapter 2 focuses on impacts of climate change on different regions. Five international experts provide their views on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, South-Eastern Europe, the Dniester River basin shared between the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, Ukraine and Central Asia. The geographical diversification offers insight into some very different challenges related to climate change: Why is the MENA region, including the six Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation, highly vulnerable to further warming effects? Why are proactive approaches regarding mitigation, adaptation and migration governance needed so much? Which results can we observe in the co-operation between the OSCE and a Berlin-based think tank in the Shar/Šara Mountains and the Korab Massif area in South-Eastern Europe? What are the local, national and regional impacts on water management and biodiversity in the Dniester River basin between the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine? What are the implications of the Russian aggression on climate and security policies in Ukraine? A final view is dedicated to Central Asia. It discusses, inter alia, regional impacts on water and energy management and how inclusion of women in decision-making processes can provide appropriate measures to tackle the climate crisis. 

A multitude of perspectives is offered in Chapter 3, which explains how climate change affects various sectors. A team of experts, bringing together three Austrian research institutions and universities, highlight the challenges and opportunities in facilitating the transition of Austria’s electricity system towards a safe and sustainable future. An expert of the Austrian Armed Forces describes the role of the Military Geoservices in preparing the Armed Forces in times of climate change. Austria’s leading environmental organisation, Global 2000, provides insights into why security is a key issue for civil society. Finally, a classic security topic from the politico-military dimension – land mines – authored by an international team of experts sheds light on the long-term legacy of explosive ordnance on climate change.

Download the publication

This description was adapted from

*Full list of authors: Nataliya Andrusevych (Society and Environment), Sinéad Barry (adelphi), Dana Bogdan (OSCE), Lieutenant-Colonel David Burbridge (Canadian Army), Linsey Cottrell (CEOBS), Herbert Formayer (BOKU), Gerald Hainzl, Florian Hasengst, Gerhard Herda (Austrian Institute of Military Geography),Duraid Jalili (King’s College London), Helga Kromp-Kolb (University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences), Colonel Hans Lampalzer (OSCE), David Leidinger (BOKU), Philipp Maier (BOKU), Beatrice Mosello (adelphi), Raquel Munayer (adelphi), Imran Nadeem (BOKU), Sarah Njeri ( SOAS University), Kristin Holme Obrestad (NPA), Nicolas Pardo-Garcia (AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH), Gustav Resch (AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH), Florian Raunig (OSCE), Felix Schneider (Vienna's National Defence Academy), Franziska Schöniger (TU Wien), Demet Suna (AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH), Gerhard Totschnig (AIT Austrian Institute of Technology), Alina Viehoff (adelphi), Kira Vinke (DGAP), Stefanie Wesch (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research), Peter Widhalm (AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH), Agnes Zauner (GLOBAL 2000 – Friends of the Earth Austria)