Report warns climate change could become 'catastrophic' global, national security threat

National security and intelligence experts warn that climate change could become a “catastrophic” threat to security and recommended quick action to be taken to mitigate risks, according to a new report released Monday.

“Even at scenarios of low warming, each region of the world will face severe risks to national and global security in the next three decades,” experts wrote in the report released by the National Security, Military and Intelligence Panel of the Center of Climate and Security, a nonpartisan security policy institute.

“Higher levels of warming will pose catastrophic, and likely irreversible, global security risks over the course of the 21st century.”

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The security threat assessment of global climate change warns that all levels of warming of climate change will pose “significant and evolving threats” to global security environments, infrastructure and institutions.

The most fragile parts of the world are most at risk, but all regions face “serious implications,” and high warming scenarios could bring “catastrophic security impacts across the globe,” experts said in the report.

“These threats could come about rapidly, destabilizing the regions and relationships on which U.S. and international security depend,” the experts found, according to the report. 

The report said mitigating risks requires “quickly reducing and phasing out global greenhouse gas emissions” and calls for the world to reach net-zero global emissions “as soon as possible.” 

The experts also recommend the world “climate-proof” environments and infrastructures human security depends on. They also call for “renewed efforts to prioritize, communicate and respond to climate security threats, and to integrate these considerations across all security planning,” in the U.S. 

“It’s the job of the U.S. intelligence community to anticipate risks to national security, and provide strategic warning to appropriate policymakers,” said Rod Schoonover, co-author of the report and advisory board member of the Center for Climate and Security. “The science has long been clear, and the security community is adding compelling analysis of the threats climate change pose to people and nations. It’s long past time for vigorous action to address them.”

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The Center of Climate and Security report is the latest released by experts to warn lawmakers to take swift action to mitigate climate change concerns. 

The United Nation’s annual “emissions gap” report released in November called for drastic, immediate action to stop a bleak future induced by climate change. 

A separate report released by the U.N. in September warned that some ice melt may be irreversible and the world is heading toward a rise in sea level even if countries significantly curbed their emissions.