20 March 2024

Defence and Climate Change

The strategy of the German Defence Ministry to prepare for climate change

Extreme temperatures, melting ice, natural catastrophes: the consequences of climate change are wide and have an impact on security and defence as well. To guarantee the operational readiness of the army even in changed climate conditions, the German Defence Ministry has published its "Defence and Climate Change" strategy.

All the consequences of climate change bear potential for geopolitical tensions and power shifts, and are therefore relevant when studying or managing conflicts. The army must be able to continue its core mission even under extreme environmental conditions, and this requires identifying the impacts of climate change on security and defence for strategic purposes. These have to be studied and identified in advance, so that the army can be prepared in any situation.

The development and implementation of new technologies will play a central role in the military adaptation process. Energy efficiency will be one of the necessary criteria to guide this process, but newly trained staff and appropriate materials will also be needed to update the infrastructure according to the necessary requirements. Climate change should also be integrated in military planning to improve preparation. Only so will the army be able to perform its duty.

The text above is a short summary of the "Verteidigung und Kilimawandel" report, published in March 2024 by the German Defence Ministry. The full report can be accessed through the link here.

Photo credit: Tech. Sgt. H. H. Deffner via Wikimedia Commons