Montréal has been selected as the host city for the NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence. The centre will focus on climate change security, led by the recommendations of experts in ecology. Knowledge and practices for climate adaptation will be exchanged, along with strategies to reduce the carbon footprint of military activities around the world.
Why a centre for climate change and security?
Climate change is one of the defining challenges of our time. The growing implications of a changing climate create direct and indirect threats to human and national security worldwide. Extreme weather events — such as hurricanes and forest fires — and climate pattern changes can threaten human life, economic security, political stability, public infrastructure, and more.
And those are just the things we know about. The effects of climate change have consequences that are not yet fully understood. Women, girls, Indigenous populations, those living in poverty, and other vulnerable populations are often particularly at risk from the direct and indirect effects of climate change. The NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence exists to address many of these challenges.
How will this centre accomplish its objectives?
Firstly, the new NATO climate centre in Montréal will acknowledge that drought, extreme heat, and rising water levels can create human suffering, in such forms as starvation and mass migration. These types of sufferings can escalate into larger conflicts.
This centre will be a platform through which both civilians and military actors will develop and share knowledge on climate change security impacts. It will also allow participants to work together to address NATO’s goal of reducing the climate impact of military activities.
Ultimately, through the cooperative efforts of its participants, the work of the NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence will enhance the security of Canada, NATO Allies and partners, and people around the globe.
Besides hosting this centre and supporting its operation, Montréal presents distinctive assets across a range of relevant sectors to the functioning of the centre. As the headquarters for many major international agencies, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Council of Design, Montréal offers a unique ecosystem with huge advantages for cross-cultural communication and multidisciplinary thinking.
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