The implications of climate change for maritime security forces



Publication Details

C. Rahman, 'The implications of climate change for maritime security forces' in R. Warner & C. Schofield(ed), Climate Change and the Oceans: Gauging the Legal and Policy Currents in the Asia Pacific and Beyond (2012) 167-199.


Although a consensus on the reality of climate change now prevails, the details of the problem remain unsettled. In particular, the precise local and regional impacts of the global phenomenon of climate change are unknown. The security-related consequences of such impacts are thus inherently speculative. Nevertheless, it has become an increasingly important aspect of the national security policy deliberations of many States, including both civil and defence force capability planning, to consider the potential security implications of climate change. Despite the prevailing uncertainty over specific impacts and their security implications, longrange planning can be undertaken based on the most likely types of consequences relevant to future national and regional security environments. In this way, potential security problems generated either directly or indirectly by climate change processes, and the capabilities required to respond to them, can be assessed in a generic sense. This chapter addresses the climate change implications for maritime security forces. Here, 'maritime security forces' is used primarily to refer to navies, although coast guards and other civilian sea-going enforcement agencies are also discussed.

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