Does Climate Change Have an Impact on National Security? an Indian Perspective

Does Climate Change have an impact on National Security? An Indian perspective

A brief introduction

National security has perhaps never been more important than it is today. Today, even the slightest dispute has the potential to escalate into a full-fledged war. In such a world, countries have to be on their guard all the time in order to ensure their survival and the well being of their people. Countries have traditionally given utmost importance to their defences by protecting themselves from the many conventional threats to national security and have also invested significant capital for the same. However, recently there have been debates on whether or not climate change affects national security. The suggestion of a link between the two did raise a few eyebrows at first as most of the international community only associated adverse environmental effects with climate change however, off late the answer to the question of whether or not climate change affects national security is a resounding yes. R. K. Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC has recognized that climate change apart from raising environmental concerns also impacts economies and national security. While addressing this question, national security shouldn’t be construed in a restricted sense as just protecting the nation’s boundaries from external aggression or as protecting it from internal aggressors and insurgents but, in the broader sense as peace taking into consideration the general well being of the people by ensuring access to resources that are essential for living. Climate change despite lacking human intentionality can have effects similar to those of a weapon of mass destruction and can result in numerous persistent conditions occurring worldwide within the same time frame thereby demanding immediate attention. Climate change affects national security in the sense that it significantly reduces a country’s capacity to cope with general problems and stretches its resources, thus making it...