NATO hosts annual roundtable on climate change and security

  • 30 Jan. 2024 -
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  • Last updated: 02 Feb. 2024 13:42

On 30 January 2024, NATO hosted its annual Climate Change and Security Roundtable in Brussels. This event brought together government representatives from NATO member and partner countries, as well as renowned climate change experts and scientists to discuss the latest developments in our understanding of the impact of climate change on security.

NATO Assistant Secretary General for Innovation, Hybrid and Cyber, David van Weel, welcomes participants to NATO’s annual Climate Change and Security Roundtable

In his introductory remarks, the NATO Assistant Secretary General for Innovation, Hybrid and Cyber, David van Weel, stated: “Looking ahead, governments will have to manage increasingly frequent environmental hazards, cascading climate risks, while also managing the most ambitious energy transition since the Industrial Revolution. We need to ask ourselves what this means for Allied security in the short term, while also looking to longer-term defence planning, and identifying measures that we should be putting in place to manage the risks alongside other defence priorities.”

The roundtable aimed to raise awareness of different aspects of NATO’s work on climate change and security, to inform ongoing implementation of its Climate Change and Security agenda, as well as to look ahead to the 2024 Washington Summit. Themes covered included latest climate change trends, operational challenges associated with changing environmental conditions, the available adaptation and mitigation measures, and partnerships.

The roundtable included speakers from the United Nations Department of Peace Operations, the European External Action Service, the World Meteorological Organization, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence, the UK Ministry of Defence, the Canadian Department of National Defence, the Republic of Iraq, the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, the German Council on Foreign Relations and the Centre for Russia Europe Asia Studies, as well as speakers from industry including BAE Systems, Saab AB.

As part of its outreach efforts, NATO engages with partner countries, other organisations, civil society, academia and industry on climate change and security issues. The roundtable adds to these ongoing engagements, underlining the value of NATO and other actors working together to meet the challenge of a changing climate. The roundtable builds on the Secretary General’s annual High-Level Dialogue on Climate Change and Security, last held at the 2023 NATO Summit in Vilnius.