Edited by Michael R. Redclift and Marco Grasso
Chapter 13: Climate change and human security: the individual and community response
In a general sense security is ‘the condition of being protected from or not exposed to danger’ (Barnett, 2001a, p. 1). Environmental, social and economic issues, as well as the system of multi-level governance by which such concerns are governed, now clearly lie within contemporary understandings of security (Boulding, 1991; Lowi and Shaw, 2000). The broadening of ideas of security beyond national defence is reflective of the changed notion of politics in the post cold-war period. Indeed, at the international level the shift towards notions of common and collective security, although not universally accepted and even actively opposed by some administrations, has been integral in making the environment, and hence climate change, a security issue (Page and Redclift, 2002), as well as linking sustainable development to security concerns (Hall et al., 2003; O’Brien et al., 2010a; IPCC, 2012). According to the IPCC (2012, p. 293) ‘The impacts of climate extremes and weather events may threaten human security at the local level (high agreement, medium evidence)’. Indeed, O’Brien et al. (2010b, p. 4) argue that climate change is ‘a problem that can only be resolved by focusing on climate change as an issue of human security, which includes a thorough investigation of what it means for humans to be “secure”’ (this author’s emphasis).
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