Exploring the Implications of Climate Change for UK Defence and Security
(Source: Rand Corp.; issued June 17, 2020)
This study explores the effects of climate change on UK defence and security. It sought to: firstly, understand the strategic defence and security implications of climate change on UK MOD activities; secondly, develop a conceptual framework to help decision makers map a range of impacts of climate change in relation to the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD)'s strategic objectives; and thirdly, produce recommendations to support the UK MOD in mitigating risks and adapting the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change.

While recognising these wider security implications, the study focuses specifically on the strategic implications of climate change for UK MOD activities in relation to the Defence Lines of Development (DLODs): concepts and doctrine, training, personnel, infrastructure, equipment, information, organisation, logistics and interoperability.

Key Findings

-- There appears to be limited defence-specific information-gathering on the impacts of climate change on the MOD's activities.

-- Climate change could increase the need for collaborative decision making, resource-sharing and communication across key stakeholders.

-- Concepts and doctrine do not consistently acknowledge climate change as a security driver or incorporate climate change as part of national security threat assessments.

-- Military infrastructure in the UK and overseas may become increasingly vulnerable to climate events, and degradation of civilian infrastructure (e.g. energy grids, water systems) may also indirectly disrupt MOD activities.

-- Rising temperatures and other climate-related developments could impede the performance of military equipment.


Click here for the full report (63 PDF pages), on the Rand Corp. website.

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