An Uncertain Future: Law Enforcement, National Security and Climate Change

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Chris Abbott
1 January 2008


Climate change will have serious environmental, socio-economic and security consequences for both developed and developing nations alike. This report explores these consequences and demonstrates that they will present new challenges to governments trying to maintain domestic stability. Those agencies tasked with protecting and sustaining national security will need to adapt to better cope with a changing global environment.

However, if governments simply respond with traditional attempts to maintain the status quo and control insecurity they will ultimately fail. As this report shows, the risks of climate change demand a rethink of current approaches to security and the development of sustainable ways of achieving that security, with an emphasis on preventative rather than reactive strategies.

About this report

This paper is based in part on a briefing given by the author to the Australian Federal Police and other law enforcement and defence agencies in Canberra at the end of 2007. It builds on some of the analysis initially laid out in Global Responses to Global Threats (June 2006) and Beyond Terror (April 2007), and is published as part of ORG's Sustainable Security project. 

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