Ernie Penaredondo |

Human Security in a Changing Climate

Climate change and associated environmental disruption are having a major impact on human security in the 21st century and will be major drivers of conflict over the next decades. Competition over access to fresh water and food crops is likely to intensify. Rising sea levels and melting polar ice will change the very nature of contested land and seas as well as military infrastructure. 


Since the founding of the Sustainable Security programme in 2007, ORG has worked to analyse the current and future linkages between climate change, resource scarcity and human security, from extreme weather events through food insecurity to the militarisation of the Arctic. Researching and addressing the security implications of climate change was a particular focus of the programme’s 2010-2013 strategy.

ORG continues to publish research on these issues and to engage with UK and international policy-makers and activists on these issues. Important policy processes we engage with in 2015 include the UK National Security Strategy review and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) review conference.

ORG activities and publications addressing these issues have included:


Workshops and Conference Papers

ORG supported the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on its work on the international diplomacy around climate and resource security, including the major conference held in March 2012.

With the support of the Network for Social Change, ORG held a workshop on 13 September 2011 on the role of the UK defence and security community (including policymakers, analysts and journalists) in responding to the security implications of climate change.



Climate Change: Drivers of Insecurity in the Global South (June 2012)

Competition over Resources: Drivers of Insecurity and the Global South (September 2011)

An Uncertain Future: Law Enforcement, National Security and Climate Change (January 2008)


Briefings and Articles

So Much Hot Air: Climate Change after the US Election (November 2016)

Climate Change: Prospects for Effective Future Action (May 2016)

2016: Into the Storm (January 2016)


2015: A Perfect Storm? (January 2015)

Responding to Climate Disruption – Developing the Agenda (March 2014)

Fighting Climate Change Denial: Climate Disruption in Perspective (July 2013)

Water Scarcity: The Real and Virtual Problems (October 2012)

Food Security and Climate Change (July 2012)

After Durban - the Big Climate Change Questions (December 2011)

UNSC's Climate Change Session Masks Members' Intransigence (World Politics Review, July 2011)

Awakening and Famine in Global Context (July 2011)

Climate Change and Security (September 2010)


Blog Posts

ORG publishes regular original articles on the security implications of climate change and resource scarcity on its blog,


Richard Reeve

Richard Reeve is the Director of Oxford Research Group's (ORG) Sustainable Security Programme and ORG Coordinator. Richard has particular expertise in Sub-Saharan Africa, peace and...

Read more

Alasdair McKay

Alasdair joined Oxford Research Group (ORG) in January 2016. He holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the social sciences from the universities of Manchester and Aberyswyth. Prior to...

Read more

Professor Paul Rogers

Paul Rogers is Oxford Research Group's (ORG) Global Security Consultant. He has worked in the field of international security, arms control and political violence for over 30 years.


Read more

Oliver Scanlan

Oliver is Senior Programme Officer for ORG’s Sustainable Security Programme, with a particular focus on climate change and marginalisation as drivers of global insecurity. For the last ten years...

Read more

Tim Street

Tim Street has been a Fellow of the Sustainable Security Programme since January 2017, specialising in nuclear security and disarmament issues. From 2015 to December 2016 Tim was Senior Programme...

Read more


Chris Abbott

Chris Abbott was founding director of ORG's Sustainable Security Programme. He is now a freelance writer and researcher and Executive Director of Open Briefing.  During his time at ORG,...

Read more

Prof. Amitav Acharya

Amitav Acharya is an advisor to ORG’s Sustainable Security Programme. He is Professor of International Relations and the UNESCO Chair in Transnational Challenges and Governance at the School of...

Read more

Mariano Aguirre

Mariano Aguirre is founding Director of the Norwegian Peacebuilding Centre (NOREF) founded to support peacebuilding efforts by networking a variety of governmental and non-governmental experts who...

Read more

Prof. Marcela Donadio

Marcela Donadio is the Executive Secretary of RESDAL - Red de Seguridad y Defensa de América Latina (Latin American Defense and Seucirty Network). There she heads RESDAL's public security...

Read more

Prof. Carolina Hernandez

Carolina G. Hernandez is currently Professor of Political Science at the University of the Philippines and the holder of its Carlos P. Romulo Professorial Chair in International Relations. She is...

Read more

Isabel Hilton

Isabel Hilton is a London based international journalist and broadcaster, and is Chief Executive of China Dialogue, the world's first fully bilingual website devoted to the environment. She began her...

Read more

Dr Bassma Kodmani

Bassma Kodmani is an Advisor to ORG’s Sustainable Security Programme. She is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Arab Reform Initiative, a network of independent Arab research and...

Read more

Prof. Laurie Nathan

Laurie Nathan is an Advisor to ORG’s Sustainable Security Programme. He is the Director of the Centre for Mediation in Africa at the University of Pretoria and Visiting Professor at Cranfield...

Read more

Michael Renner

Michael Renner is a Senior Researcher at the Washington, DC-based Worldwatch Institute.  His work has mostly focused on the linkages between environment, resources, and conflict, post-disaster...

Read more

Jürgen Trittin

Jürgen Trittin is an Advisor to ORG’s Sustainable Security Programme. He is a member of the German Bundestag, where he chairs the Parliamentary Group of the Alliance ‘90/Green Party. From 1998-2005...

Read more

Dr Benjamin Zala

Benjamin Zala is a Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Leicester, UK, where his works focuses on great power diplomacy, rising powers in the global order and global security...

Read more