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THE Climate Security Challenge Around the world, governments - and militaries - are planning for climate instability. From flood defences to foreign aid, climate security is part of the policy discussion. But it is not yet part of the public discussion. And that is something that we have to change.We need to get people to engage with climate security; to understand what it means to be climate resilient in an interdependent world. Because at the moment, it is too easy to discount the danger. Climate change is something that can seem far away - not just in terms of distance, but also time. For people who do not live on the climate frontline, talk of 2030 projections and 2050 pathways can make the threat seem remote. But it is not. In less than eight years' time, we have to peak global emissions. That will only be achieved through real change. We must rewire the global economy, becoming more resource efficient whilst delivering more growth. The decisions that will shape the decades to come are being taken now, in boardrooms and staterooms around the world. Many of the homes, the cars and the power stations we build today will be operating in the middle of the century. We are choosing our future now, but most people do not realise it.MultiplierI believe a clear, hard look at climate security - at the risks that climate change could pose to our way of life - could change that. Because if we are going to stop talking about building a sustainable economy and start doing it, we need to take the public with us. That is why I absolutely welcome the work you are going to do over the next few days. We need to reframe the Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, The United Kingdomdebate; to get away from the sometimes fraught politics, and start painting a picture of climate change as the security community see it. Not as a political football, or a far-off possibility; but as a threat multiplier. Something that is already magnifying existing pressures, increasing existing stresses. And making it harder to deliver our shared goals: peace, stability and prosperity for all. Because the truth is climate change is all of those things.RisksOur world is connected like never before. Open borders, trade and telecoms have brought our countries closer together. The ties between us are stronger; the world around us is smaller. Deeper connections bring real benefits for our citizens. But they also leave us exposed. In the global village, a fire in one house can quickly spread to another. A more unstable climate, with rising temperatures and more frequent and intense weather events, could affect the most fundamental aspects of our shared security: food, water, and trade. There is considerable expertise gathered here today. And I do not want to risk telling you things you already know. But there are a couple of things that I think really bring this argument to life.FactsFirstly, demand for food is predicted to grow by 70 per cent by 2050. But as our climate changes, so will crop yields - and crop distributions. A recent study found that if temperatures rose by just one degree, then 65 per cent of maize-growing areas in Africa would be less productive. When food becomes scarce, it is the most vulnerable who most feel the 036 G-20 MEMBERS

"A more unstable climate, with rising temperatures and more frequent and intense weather events, could affect the most fundamental aspects of our shared security: food, water, and trade"Pictured: Edward Daveyimpact. As the Secretary General of NATO said, food scarcity, "like all the effects of climate change. will hit hardest on the people and countries least able financially and organisationally to cope". Even where absolute availability is not in question, rising prices can trigger civil unrest, and threaten free trade. The pressures on the global food system are mirrored when it comes to water. Water use is growing twice as quickly as population. In fifteen years' time, 1.8 billion people will live in areas suffering from absolute water scarcity. Historically, countries have tended not to go to war over water. Instead, we have concluded deals and signed treaties to share this finite resource. But such accords could come under threat, as climate change affects rainfall, intensifying pressures between states - and within them.SecurityIt is this amplifying effect that makes climate change a particular concern. Where the risk of conflict already burns brightly, it will focus the flame.Those parts of the world we are most concerned about - the conflict flashpoints, the fragile trade routes, the weakened democracies - are often the same places that will be worst affected by climate change. It is a threat multiplier, and its effects will be felt most keenly in areas already under threat. From a diplomatic perspective, that makes climate diplomacy all the more urgent.We need to build resilience and adaptation into developed and developing economies alike. And we need to get that global deal to stop emissions rising; if we do not, a whole new set of problems arise. From a security perspective, we need to be ready for a world where climate instability drives political instability.Commodity prices have increased by nearly 150 per cent since the year 2000.Competition for resources could intensify, as territorial change puts pressure on trade and makes conflict more likely. Natural disasters could increase the demands on our military capability. And in failing states, food, water and energy supply problems could spark internal unrest that spills outwards. These risks threaten both our defence and development goals; which is why militaries around the world are making climate risk part of their strategic planning.The Pentagon's Quadrennial Defence Review Report concludes that climate change will shape the US military's "operating environment, roles and missions".Here in the UK, our own National Security Strategy identifies climate change as a "wide-ranging driver of insecurity. exacerbating existing weakness and tensions". And whether you are from Australia or Bangladesh, South Africa or Japan, your presence here today speaks to the seriousness of the climate security agenda. For governments, the risks are clear: to development, to democracy, and to peace itself. We cannot afford to ignore them. We have to plan for a world where climate change makes difficult problems worse.ConclusionWhen faced with seemingly intractable risks, we can take comfort in our history. When faced with other global threats - from nuclear war to smallpox - we have proven ourselves equal to the challenge. Our ability to create problems for ourselves, as we have with carbon emissions, is matched only by our ability to create solutions. So in the months and years to come, I hope we can continue to work together - not only to prepare for the worst, but to deliver the best: a more sustainable future for all. nACKNOWLEDGEMENTEdward Davey, the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, delivered the above remarks at "Climate & Resource Security Dialogue for the 21st Century" conference in London on 22 March 2012. For more information please contact the Department of Energy and Climate Change, www.decc.orgG-20 MEMBERS 037