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NATO: Climate Change Impacts on Security

Heads of State and Government participating in the Wales Summit of the North Atlantic Council (NAC), the principal political decision-making body of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), have declared that climate change and increasing energy needs will shape the Organization’s future security environment and could significantly affect its planning and operations, reads a press release on IISD.org.

s465_NATO_960The ‘Wales Summit Declaration,’ issued at the end of the Summit, held from 4-5 September 2014, in Newport, Wales, the UK, underlines that “key environmental and resource constraints, including health risks, climate change, water scarcity, and increasing energy needs will further shape the future security environment in areas of concern to NATO and have the potential to significantly affect NATO planning and operations.” The Declaration reaffirmes the Organization’s stance on the issue; the previous NATO summit, held from 20-21 May 2012, in Chicago, US, issued a declaration featuring an identical paragraph on environmental security.

In the context of energy security, the Declaration states the alliance will continue to work towards significantly improving the energy efficiency of its military forces. It also notes the NATO’s ‘Green Defence’ framework, adopted in February 2014, seeks to increase the Organization’s operational effectiveness through changes in the use of energy, while saving resources and enhancing environmental sustainability.

The purpose of NATO is to safeguard the freedom and security of its members through political and military means. The organization currently has 28 member countries.

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