Report

The Economics of Planetary Security: Climate Change as an Economic Conflict Factor

December 13th 2016 - 10:42

In the face of a rapidly-changing geopolitical landscape, contemporary perspectives on security have drastically changed in reaction to new conflict factors that have arisen out of, and are related to, unpredictable patterns of climate change. Already, in both the short and long term future, it is increasingly likely that conflict will result from a multitude of such stress factors. Environmental stress, stress caused by climate change in particular, is only one of these factors. Nonetheless, in light of its diverse and multiplier impacts, it remains an important one.

This report, intended for policy makers and business professionals, examines the economic aspects of the relatively under-explored concept of planetary security. Planetary security refers to the role of the environment in geopolitical risks and conflicts. The report evaluates the vulnerabilities and resilience of countries to environmentally induced conflict. It first discusses the concept of planetary security and the role of economics therein, and then builds a quantitative framework and monitor capturing the vulnerabilities and resilience of different countries.

The monitor is innovative in its inclusion of a variety of security risks related to the transition to a low carbon economy: Conflict Vulnerability, Climate Change Vulnerability, Low Carbon Risk and Economic Resilience. These layers are combined to create a Consolidated Risk Layer and a Consolidated Resilience Layer, in order to provide insight into how resilience to the above vulnerabilities could be bolstered.

The monitor and accompanying report, have been produced by The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) and Clingendael Institute as a key input to the Planetary Security Initiative conference, which took place in The Hague, the Netherlands on December 5 and 6, supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To access the Planetary Security Monitor click here.To download the report, please click on the button on the right.

Michel Rademaker is the Deputy Director of HCSS. He has a degree in Transport and Logistics, which he obtained at the University of Tilburg. He has fifteen years of hands-on experience as an officer in The Royal Netherlands Army, where he held various military operational and staff posts and also served a term in former Yugoslavia. After leaving the armed forces, Mr. Rademaker went on to work at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) as a project and program manager and senior policy advisor for ten years.

Karlijn Jans is a strategic analyst at HCSS. She holds a Master’s degree in European Studies specializing in German politics from King’s College London and a Master’s degree in European and International Law from Maastricht University. Her geographical expertise includes Europe and the transatlantic sphere. Ms. Jans further specialized in defense and security policies while studying as a visiting student at the Netherlands Defense Academy. Prior to her position at HCSS she worked as a policy advisor at the TNO’s EU office in Brussels. 

Hannes Rõõs is a data scientist at HCSS. He has a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Tartu and also holds Bachelor’s degrees in both Political Science and Sociology from the same university. In addition, he studied at the University of Oslo and the University of Mannheim for a total of three semesters. Prior to HCSS, Hannes worked as a research and teaching assistant at the University of Tartu and the associated Centre of Excellence for Strategic Sustainability.