Climate Security in South Asia: Why it Matters for India
Climate change-related security risks pose grave challenges to peace and stability in South Asia. The recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report projects rapid and intensified effects of climate change in the region. This will have serious implications for security. From potential regional conflict over river water-sharing to damaging impacts for military strategy, climate change could affect human and regional security in many ways. It is therefore imperative for India to rethink existing perspectives on climate security, which are currently hinged on United Nations Security Council (UNSC) debates. New Delhi must integrate these security concerns into its foreign policy towards the region’s countries, both bilaterally and through regional organisations. Multilaterally, India could use its growing stature in the international climate order to incorporate its longstanding views on climate action, particularly concerning climate justice, within the climate security agenda.
The author, Dr Dhanasree Jayaram, is Assistant Professor with the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, and Co-coordinator, Centre for Climate Studies, at Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Karnataka. She is an expert on climate and environmental security, global sustainability politics and governance, environmental peace-building, and regional environmental politics/policy (focusing on the Indo-Pacific).
This Policy Brief is part of the 2021 IPCS-Clingendael Institute partnership on climate security.