European Militaries in the New Climate Reality

Type: Article

Description: As the effects of climate change become more destructive, militaries have been increasingly called upon to participate in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations - even in Europe where this has not traditionally been their role. In order to maintain their readiness to face the long-term threats of climate change, militaries must continue to integrate climate security into defence planning.

Climate change is among the great threats facing the world today. With each of the last four decades being successively warmer than any preceding decade since 1850, global warming is contributing to increased rainfall, increased drought, and rising sea levels around the world. This in turn increases the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, heightening the risk of converging disasters.

Covid-19 has demonstrated the difficulties faced by states in managing multiple disasters simultaneously. As disasters increase and climate security becomes a growing topic of national concern, security actors including militaries are likely to take on a bigger role in the HADR space. As such, the need to build military readiness in an increasingly complex operating environment is becoming very urgent.

Author: S. Nanthini

Published in: IDSS Paper: No. 020/2021

Published by: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Date and Place: 2 December 2021, Singapore

Publication page:

Download the PDF

TOPICS / Subjects:

  • Resilience
  • Capacity Building
  • Civil Military Cooperation
  • Best Practices
  • National Security
  • International Security