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Climate change is the greatest threat to our national security


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Climate change is the greatest threat to our national security by Oladosu Adenike

Climate change does not in itself create national insecurity but use the displacement of people away from their livelihood as a medium to increase food insecurity, hunger and poverty that in turns lead to forced migration which are all indicators that threaten national security. Among other things,it has been classified as “mother of all security problem”. The future of climate change in Africa could mean an increase in recruitment into armed group. In most of the hotspot regions in the world  climate change have been implicated by it disastrous effect on people and the planet.There are little attention been paid to climate action in the form of reclaiming the landscape of people and sustaining their livelihoods. On April 17th 2007, an unprecedented debate was held at the UN Security on climate change, security and energy supplies which highlighted the impacts of climate change on conflicts. The eight worst food crises in 2019, all in countries where UNHCR is operating were linked to both climate shocks and conflict. There is a report that shows that indicate a relationship between child recruitment and scare rainfall in central also showed that poor families send their children to armed group as a form of income. It’s more like a survival strategy in such a scenario because climate change means survival of the fittest to us in Africa.

Hence, we are mistaking military action for climate action as the solution to the insecurity we are face with today. We can’t solve the climate crisis through military action – there are more military actions than the climate action needed itself. We need not  to normalize using military action in place of climate action because we can’t defeat climate induced insecurity through guns and ammunition. Silencing the guns go beyond the physical and transcend to the fight for our human rights in a changing climatic environment. We need to bear in mind that the more people are displaced by the climate crisis than any other causes of  conflict. The fragile a country become the more it create loopholes that increase insecurity of various forms. So the complexities of insecurity we see today is a failure of climate action and good governance. There are many school of thoughts on this issue of national security; to some national insecurity is a call for more military actions while some believe that, military action is a failure to act on democratic principle such as green democracy and decency. There is a point to both thoughts which is climate governance. This is not the time to keep deploying troops rather it is time to provide basic human right needs for the people.

The root cause of insecurity anywhere in world is most times related to climate change. In Nigeria, in the North eastern part is the shrinking lake chad, drought, desertification, while in the North central part is faced with floods, clashes between farmers and herders. Also, the southern part is faced with floods, oil spillage in water outlets that serve as a primary source of livelihoods to indigenes so are other zones in Nigeria. Invariably, every parts of Nigeria has a climate change face. The insecurity we see today in Nigeria is not entire just banditry it is climate induced. The actions we took decades ago (diverting the economy from agriculture to a fossil fuel economy) is what we are paying for now. Now we are faced with complex crisis of increasing population, yet there are fewer waterways, land, food and other securities which are all affecting our basic human rights.

If we don’t use the right approach in addressing climate change in our society today it could mean more crisis – we won’t be able to find a convergent point. One thing that remain a potential trigger of insecurity anywhere is when livelihood is undermined by climate change. Climate change is also a classical security threat and the symptoms are what we are seeing today in our society. According to the research conducted by the institute for security studies office for West Africa, ''many who joined extremist groups in the region did so for economic reasons''. Thus Africa bears the brunt of climate change crises: disappropriately affect us.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, "human security will be progressively threatened as the climate changes because it undermines livelihoods, compromises culture and idenitity, induces migration that people would rather have avoided, and challenges the ability of states to provide the conditions necessary for human security".This is why we (ILeadClimate)will  keep advocating for basic human rights such as the restoration of Lake Chad as part of the solution that will end the violence in Sahel and its region. And also for climate education. It is because we lack climate education as a fundamental basis for creating the change we want in our world today that is why we are mistaking climate action for military action. We will keep working with all relevant stakeholders to keep our world sustainable for all.

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