Environmental Security

Authored by: Jon Barnett

The Routledge Handbook of New Security Studies

Print publication date:  January  2010
Online publication date:  January  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415484374
eBook ISBN: 9780203859483
Adobe ISBN: 9781135166205

10.4324/9780203859483.ch13

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Abstract

Environmental change poses risks to the territorial integrity and economic growth of states, to the health and welfare of people and communities, and it may increase the risk of violent conflict. In these ways environmental change can be seen as generating problems for national and human security. This chapter describes these effects of environmental change on security. It locates them in broader historical and spatial patterns of development and charts their effects on the biological, physical and chemical components and systems necessary for the process of life (hereafter ‘the environment’). It then explains the way in which growing recognition of this problem of material and ecological interdependencies gave rise to the concept of environmental security. It discusses in turn the ways in which environmental change may increase the risk of violent conflict, undermines the territorial integrity and economic growth of states, and creates human insecurity.

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