‘Assess climate change risks like national security’

Climate change should be assessed in the same way as risks to national security and public health. That’s according to an international group of experts who have released a new […]

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Climate change should be assessed in the same way as risks to national security and public health.

That’s according to an international group of experts who have released a new independent assessment of the risks of climate change.

The report argues the risks of climate change should be updated regularly and communicated to political leaders “at the highest level”.

Commissioned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, it is designed to support political leaders in their decisions on how much priority is give to the issue.

Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay, said: “When we think about keeping our country safe, we always consider the worst case scenarios.

“That is what guides our policies on nuclear non-proliferation, counter-terrorism and conflict prevention. We have to think about climate change the same way.

“Unlike those more familiar risks, the risks of climate change will increase continually over time – until we have entirely eliminated their cause. To manage these risks successfully, it is essential that we take a long-term view, and that we act in the present, with urgency.”

It adds the risk assessment should involve a wide range of experts, including policy and energy analysts who should be asked where they think global emissions are most likely to be going.
The report adds: “Political leaders should have a role in defining what it is we want to avoid; scientists can then assess its likelihood. Military strategists should be asked what security risks they would expect to arise from a high climate change world, and how manageable those might be.”