Climate Change Impacts on Canadian National Security

Reimagining a Canadian National Security Strategy Report No. 2

October 12, 2021

Like cybersecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic response, climate change and other ecological transformations are not easily dealt with using traditional approaches to the management of security, defence, development and foreign policy. For this reason, leading countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia have, in recent years, undertaken national security reviews. These reviews have reframed their approach, emphasizing the linkages between traditional security and emerging fields of human security and climate security, and collating this information into a thoughtful vision for the future. It is time for Canada to do the same. This new vision combines international leadership, in particular putting substance behind the recent announcement that Canada will host a North Atlantic Treaty Organization-accredited Centre of Excellence on Climate and Security. The report recommends three additional Canadian initiatives.

This thematic report is part of the Reimagining a Canadian National Security Strategy project. A special report by the project’s co-directors analyzes Canada’s new national security outlook and proposes a security strategy for Canada.

About the Authors

Simon Dalby is a CIGI senior fellow and professor emeritus at Wilfrid Laurier University. His published research deals with climate change, environmental security and geopolitics.

Leah Lawrence is president and CEO of Sustainable Development Technology Canada. With more than two decades of business experience, Leah is known for her leadership and passion for business and sustainable innovation.