What is environmental security?
The term “environmental security” expands the classic, narrowly defined understanding of security. They evolved alongside the discussions beginning in the 1980s about climate change. The discussions held in the 1990s on human security also brought the concept of environmental security further along. It attempts to describe possible links between climate change caused by human activity and the threat to security that can be inferred from that.
While climate conflicts are controversial in scientific circles, environmental conflicts are already real, existing, observable disputes. It should be noted, however, that the processes that ultimately lead to conflicts prove to be highly complex and dynamic. Peace and conflict researchers warn against reducing the causes for conflict to merely environmental degradation—and thereby simplifying the network of causes. Hence, until now it has been impossible to empirically prove a conflict arising from purely environmental causes. Environmental destruction or degradation can function as a trigger or accelerating factor in a complex causal network.