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NATO Summit Declares Climate Change Will Shape Future Security Environment

September 3-5 marked the most recent NATO summit  in Cardiff, Wales. One of the noted principal focuses of this year’s summit included: “NATO readiness to reinforce collective defence, and investing in capabilities to ensure the Alliance remains ready to face any challenge.” The just-released “Wales Summit Declaration” confirmed that climate change was in fact a part of that readiness challenge. As noted on point 110:

Key environmental and resource constraints, including health risks, climate change, water scarcity, and increasing energy needs will further shape the future security environment in areas of concern to NATO and have the potential to significantly affect NATO planning and operations.

The Summit Declaration also noted the role of energy for NATO readiness:

A stable and reliable energy supply, the diversification of routes, suppliers and energy resources, and the interconnectivity of energy networks remain of critical importance. While these issues are primarily the responsibility of national governments and other international organisations, NATO closely follows relevant developments in energy security, including in relation to the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the growing instability in the Middle East and North Africa region. We will continue to consult on and further develop our capacity to contribute to energy security, concentrating on areas where NATO can add value. In particular, we will enhance our awareness of energy developments with security implications for Allies and the Alliance; further develop NATO’s competence in supporting the protection of critical energy infrastructure; and continue to work towards significantly improving the energy efficiency of our military forces, and in this regard we note the Green Defence Framework. We will also enhance training and education efforts, continue to engage with partner countries, on a case-by-case basis, and consult with relevant international organisations, including the EU, as appropriate. Today we have noted a progress report on NATO’s role in energy security and we task the Council to continue to refine NATO’s role in energy security in accordance with the principles and guidelines agreed at the Bucharest Summit and the direction provided by subsequent Summits and the Strategic Concept. We task the Council to produce a further progress report for our next Summit.

For the complete article, please see The Center for Climate & Security.