Edited by Michael R. Redclift and Marco Grasso
Chapter 3: The IPCC, human security, and the climate-conflict nexus
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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