How climate change influences geopolitics – Interview with Francesco Femia

Climate change can have severe impacts on security. He also explains how climate change alters the conditions in traditionally unstable geo-strategic environments - such as the Arctic or the South China Sea - making them even more unstable.

This interview was conducted at the Planetary Security Conference in The Hague, 5-6 December 2016.

"Climate change can exacerbate the drivers of migration, other drivers of migration – whether that is food or water stress. That is a big problem. Major migration flows, refugee flows can have a significant regional and international security impact. Those are some of the new risks we need to be really worried about.

But climate change also impacts the existing geopolitical environment as we know it. In the Arctic obviously it is creating a new ocean, in the South China Sea you can see fish stocks moving north, fishing fleets moving into contested waters – so you have tension between China and its neighbors and that brings in the US as well. We have these traditional geo-strategic environments which are unstable becoming more unstable and that is something climate change is going to potentially create more of. We should be worried about it."