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Climate change poses grave threat to security, says UK envoy

Posted in Science on 1st Jul, 2013 02:50 AM by AlexMuller

Climate change poses as grave a threat to the UK's security and economic resilience as terrorism and cyber-attacks, according to a senior military commander who was appointed as William Hague's climate envoy this year.


In his first interview since taking up the post, Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti said climate change was "one of the greatest risks we face in the 21st century", particularly because it presented a global threat. "By virtue of our interdependencies around the world, it will affect all of us," he said.


He argued that climate change was a potent threat multiplier at choke points in the global trade network, such as the Straits of Hormuz, through which much of the world's traded oil and gas is shipped.


Morisetti left a 37-year naval career to become the foreign secretary's special representative for climate change, and represents the growing influence of hard-headed military thinking in the global warming debate.


The link between climate change and global security risks is on the agenda of the UK's presidency of the G8, including a meeting to be chaired by Morissetti in July that will include assessment of hotspots where climate stress is driving migration.


Morisetti's central message was simple and stark: "The areas of greatest global stress and greatest impacts of climate change are broadly coincidental."


He said governments could not afford to wait until they had all the information they might like. "If you wait for 100% certainty on the battlefield, you'll be in a pretty sticky state," he said.

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