Threats or vulnerabilities? assessing the link between climate change and security


This article analyzes how climate change has been strategically linked to security issues in recent decades by a variety of actors. I begin by elaborating on two general discourses on the relationship between environment and security, which I call environmental conflict and environmental security. Using discourse analysis, I examine the particular ways that security and climate change have been linked by scholars, policymakers and the media. I then explore some of the potential implications that discussing climate change through each of these security discourses have for policy outcomes within the climate regime. I conclude that the environmental security discourse is the most useful for stressing vulnerabilities and the human security concerns linked to climate change. © 2011 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Publication Title

Global Environmental Politics