The challenges

Climate change is recognized as one of the most important challenges facing the international community. Many eminent politicians have declared climate change as the biggest threat to our civilization; others have suggested that global warming is more of a threat than the traditionally viewed risks to international peace and security. The science is compelling and many of the leading climate change scientists are concerned about abrupt and potentially dramatic climate and other Earth system tipping points, with potentially massive impacts upon life on Earth over centuries and geological time frames that could become irreversible without dramatic technological and behavioural changes beginning now.

In 2007, for the first time, an environmental issue reached the United Nations Security Council. This discussion represented a realization of the political impact of not implementing the agreements at the Rio and Johannesburg Earth Summits. Within the next 10 to 20 years, environment and, in particular, the climate implications are going to move to become security issues. The authors have addressed both the problems of accelerated energy needs and the impacts that climate change could have upon peace, security and development. The book has also tried to address the global institutional framework that is needed to address the challenges.

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