Climate Justice and Climate Conflicts as a Security Policy Challenge in the 21st Century

Angela Kallhoff, Thomas Schulte-Umberg

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed


Climate change is a reality. Today, the consequences of climate change are not only already visible everywhere, they are also increasingly perceived as a threat to the stability of the political order. However, it is clear too that states can only react to climate conflicts by means of security policy if elementary demands for “climate justice” are taken into account. These include justified demands for compensation and duties to assist vulnerable states, and also involve questions of causation and responsibility. This article attempts to build a bridge between climate justice and security policy. The goal is to highlight the importance of guarding against a twofold narrowing of the security policy perspective: with a purely pragmatic perspective, it will not be possible to adequately grasp the major challenges of climate change or deal with them in a groundbreaking way. And nor will it be possible for states in the future to hide from their responsibilities as conflicts intensify because of climate change. At the end of the discussion, there are three suggestions for how to deal with the security policy challenge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-31
JournalEthics and Armed Forces
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2021

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 105205 Climate change
  • 603103 Ethics
  • 509020 Military ethics


  • climate justice
  • Climate change
  • climate ethics

Cite this