Table of Contents

Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security

Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security

Elgar original reference

Edited by Michael R. Redclift and Marco Grasso

The Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security is a landmark publication which links the complexities of climate change to the wellbeing and resilience of human populations. It is written in an engaging and accessible way but also conveys the state of the art on both climate change research and work into human security, utilizing both disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. Organized around thematic sections, each chapter is written by an acknowledged expert in the field, and discusses the key concepts and evidence base for our current policy choices, and the dilemmas of international policy in the field. The Handbook is unique in containing sophisticated ethical and moral questions as well as new information and data from different geographical regions. It is a timely volume that makes the case for acting wisely now to avert impending crises and global environmental problems.

Chapter 3: The IPCC, human security, and the climate-conflict nexus

Ragnhild Nordås and Nils Petter Gleditsch

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental geography, environmental politics and policy, environmental sociology, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


Climate change has increasingly been framed as a major security concern in media and public discourse over the last decade. The security scenario gathered particularly strong momentum in 2007 with the UN Security Council’s debate on the security implications of climate change and the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Al Gore. In his speech on the occasion of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for2007 to Al Gore and the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC), the then chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee adopted apolemical stand against ‘those who doubt that there is any connection between the environment and the climate on the one hand and war and conflict on the other’, and told the audience that global warming not only has negative consequences for ‘human security’ in a wide sense, but that it ‘can also fuel violence and conflict within and between states’. He provided two examples: First, the ‘melt-down in the Arctic is giving a sharper edge to the new series of sovereignty claims’ in the North. And, secondly,‘ in Darfur and in large sectors of the Sahel belt . . . we have already had the first “climate war”’, with ‘nomads and peasants, Arabs and Africans, Christians and Muslims’ clashing repeatedly as a result of desertification’(Mjøs, 2007).

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