Security and Sustainable Development – Energy and Environmental Factors

From a human security perspective, ensuring sustainable development requires that NATO be more attentive to energy and environmental concerns.

Key Questions

  • 1. What are the emerging threats to energy security and how can NATO contribute to overcoming these challenges?
  • 2. How can NATO be better prepared to contend with the challenges caused by climate change?
  • 3. How can NATO’s Partnership for Peace and Science for Peace and Security Programmes be enhanced to complement efforts at securing sustainable development?
  • 4. How can NATO better engage civil society in security-related policy-making?

As competition for scarce resources intensifies, and supplies begin to dwindle, so the threat of conflict grows. An over-dependence on fossil fuels, particularly natural gas and oil, as a source of energy leaves many country’s vulnerable to supply disruptions, whether caused by terrorist attacks, political factors or international disputes. Whilst country’s endeavour to transition to more renewable sources of energy, there is a prevalent need for a co-ordinated international efforts to tackle emerging threats to energy security, particularly energy infrastructure security such as oil tankers and gas pipelines. NATO has a key role to play in this regard, particularly with respect to sharing intelligence and information, projecting stability and supporting the protection of critical infrastructure, advancing international and regional co-operation, and by supporting consequence management.

The consequences of climate change – including rising sea levels, more severe weather and droughts, desertification – means that reducing emissions is increasingly a security imperative, particularly in areas already afflicted by extreme poverty, pervasive hunger and social and political instability. Mass migrations resulting from exacerbated climate conditions constitutes one of the most dangerous and destabilizing potential threats. Civil society has a key role to play in generating sustainable solutions that can mitigate the threats to human security and NATO’s new Strategic Concept needs to elaborate a systematic approach for incorporating their inputs and ideas.

Further reading:

If you are interested in participating in this project, please contact TransConflict Serbia at the following e-mail address –

The ‘Facilitating Serbia’s Contribution to NATO’s New Strategic Concept’ project has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

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