20 September 2022

Advancing European Union action to address climate-related security risks

The Ukraine war has added to the pressure to address the links between the environment, natural resource management and conflict. This SIPRI Research Policy Paper assesses the priorities of selected European Union (EU) member states regarding climate-related security risks, explores their strategies for pursuing these at EU level and identifies steps for further action. It finds that member states’ level of political commitment to tackling climate-related security risks at the EU level varies. While maintaining the operational efficiency of the military is a red line, concentrating efforts on research, development and peacekeeping is acceptable even to countries that do not prioritize climate insecurity in their policies. Country strategies for pursuing such efforts involve spotlighting climate security during their respective rotating Council presidencies, working closely with the European External Action Service and the European Commission, and collaborating with like-minded member states. The paper recommends additional steps for action, but in order to make effective adjustments to EU processes, climate security will need greater prominence on the EU agenda.

Read full policy brief here

This paper is part of a two-paper set that examines institutional responses to climate-related security risks with one paper focusing on state-level policies and initiatives and the other on strategies to advance EU action in this area. On state-level responses to CRSRs, the other paper in this set, see Bunse, S. et al., Mapping European Union Member States’ Responses to Climate-related Security Risks


For more insights on EU efforts to tackle climate-related security risks read our policy briefs:

Photo credit: Blondinrikard Fröberg/Flickr