Along the Rue de la Loi in Brussels, the proclamation “The future is Europe” is stuck on a mural. Given the difficulties this continent is currently experiencing, it would be ignorant to consider this claim as one. From the slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to an increasingly competitive international and security order, the combination of many factors now threaten Europe’s place in the highest rungs of influence. Global.
If the traditional elements of domestic governance and external regulation are not enough of a challenge to the EU, the ongoing activity of the “global stagnation” caused by climate change is complicating matters. European target. The current von der Leyen commission has promised that Europe, under her leadership, will be greener and more geopolitical. Now your Committee has a climate security opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted. If “The Future is Europe”, then the EU and its member states will have to step up climate security commitment and action to fulfill their ambitions and advance their strategic autonomy agenda.
The benefits of implementing climate-focused policy are clear. Scientific data shows that Europe and the world need to cope with more extreme weather events and frequent natural disasters. In Europe, these developments will put pressure on local economies, disrupt supply chains, destroy businesses and homes, and erode critical infrastructure leading to some negative consequences. fruit.
Outside the continent, climate change has added security destabilization to Europe’s periphery, including some of the most vulnerable when it comes to difficult security threats and catastrophes. related to the climate. Successive effects such as increased migration due to lack of economic opportunity or basic food security, as well as potential for emerging health security problems, such as the spread of infectious diseases, are byproducts are unavoidable.
As the world has learned from COVID-19, infectious diseases are not confined to their country of origin. With the internal and external consequences of letting climate change go unchecked, the construction of more early warning systems to increase situational awareness and develop a further vision for gas security It will be of strategic interest to the EU. It would be beneficial for European Union policymakers to take precedence and participate in mitigation efforts rather than reacting too late in the aftermath of a crisis when the majority damage has happened.
The economic rationale behind adopting more serious climate security policies is also convincing. Amid a major economic downturn, investing heavily in more sustainable infrastructure and retrofitting existing buildings to cope with extreme weather patterns will not only boost the local economy. in member states but also a sensible method to increase economic and social resilience. The policy will also reduce EU private insurance payments and national emergency relief payments in the post-disaster era, which is hitting an all-time record.
Furthermore, investment in many EU green innovation companies focused on viable transitional energy sources or renewable battery storage sources, with dual military-civilian use applications, will not only be commercially beneficial for companies but also reinforces EU readiness. These investments not only provide the foundation for structured and mutually beneficial dialogue with the private sector, foster innovation, but also encourage European market champions to compete with heavyweight opponents of the US and China.
These renewal goals also extended into the military realm. At the infrastructure level, providing member states with investment resources to retrofit aging military facilities offers a similar advantage of enhanced resilience, as well. will provide another way to offset large carbon emissions. The advantage of using these technologies when deploying member states is also very clear: compared to using traditional petrochemicals, the use of solar-powered microgrid both reduces the logistics of operations. and give greater autonomy to large-scale operations while reducing costs. As a result, the money saved can be reinvested in new research and development programs or allocated to on-going projects. Furthermore, the military advantage of these climate-friendly, cost-cutting operations will only increase over time as the electrification of weapons systems and equipment continues to expand.
Outside the continent, the EU could also provide more stability to volatile regions where their peacekeeping forces are deployed through the provision of training techniques and military doctrine. up-to-date, environmentally conscious. EU peacekeepers have a unique opportunity to promote green practices and promote climate resilience in host countries and should use current and future missions to do like that. Where possible, the sharing of technologies that contribute to offsetting carbon emissions should also be considered. Reducing the dependence of developing countries on fossil fuels and increasing military preparedness for natural disasters will also promote long-term stability in the periphery of Europe. and minimizing the risk of spillovers of human security and difficulties to the coasts of Europe. So far, NATO and the EU have agreed to 74 joint actions, of which closer cooperation on climate security cooperation and procurement will represent another milestone in this burgeoning relationship. .
Diplomatically, a stronger EU climate security profile could be used by the EU as another commitment tool to work with traditional partners and allies as well as competitors. Neither China nor Russia is immune to climate change, and both should welcome the opportunity to participate in climate security projects that can be packaged up as confidence-building measures and allowing the EU to stop. blocking relations with competitors. Given the importance of managing climate change and its consequences, it is irresponsible to not work with all parties.
While there is no guarantee that the future will be strong Europe, we can certainly assume that it will be complicated and chaotic. For the EU to survive on the impending climate change journey and affirm its global ambitions, embracing climate security is a tonic for development.