08 March 2017

Clingendael Strategic Monitor 2017: Climate change

What will our world look like in 2021? How will the world order develop in the coming period? Who will be the most important players? The recently presented Clingendael Strategic Monitor 2017 offers an answer to these questions. It analyses the increasing threats, but also the simultaneously continuing cooperation. It is based on ten different thematic studies that concentrate on the estimated threat and the state of the international order within a specific theme. One of these thematic studies focusses on climate change. This contribution, written by Louise van Schaik, Maite Reece and Ernst Kuneman, describes the key trends in the field of climate change for the European Union.

The Netherlands, the EU and other international organisations such as NATO, the UN and G7 consider climate change to be a threat multiplier. In other words, climate change is seen as a factor that interacts with other risk factors and can thereby potentially undermine security and political stability in affected regions

The study focuses on the immediate security risks of climate change in the EU rather than on the threats that climate change poses in other parts of the world or the migration flows that can perhaps be linked to these threats. It starts with a European threat assessment regarding geopolitical relations in the Arctic region, discusses potential risks of heat, drought and flooding and describes the possible state of affairs in 2021. The contribution then provides an overview of how international cooperation in the field of climate change is organised, sets out the trends that can be seen in this context and discusses whether major changes relative to the current situation can be expected between now and 2021.

Read the full study.