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Ecological Security addresses all connections between ecological issues such as energy and water scarcity or global climate change and human security. In most cases it does not shed light on new threats but rather shows how various security challenges in fact derive from environmental issues and may therefore be better prevented with appropriate environmental policies.


Nepal: chronicle of a disaster foretold

The Nepalese earthquake was a product of natural causes. But the full death toll and slow recovery are not.

Climate-chaos migrants set to face increasingly closed borders

Climate change is set to trigger dangerously soaring temperatures this century, forcing many of humankind’s most vulnerable to migrate to survive. Yet the growing global obsession with border security will stifle their safe movement.

After the demonstrations ...

The popular outpouring in France, taken with the climate marches in September with which it would not at first be bracketed, may be a harbinger of change.

Latin Americans pay price for corporate environmental destruction

As the COP20 conference comes to a close in Lima, can the corporations whose ‘externalities’ foster climate change ever be brought to book?

Climate summit, climate justice

The climate summit called today by the United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon, will not bring the commitments needed to avert global chaos. Only popular mobilisation for climate justice can do that.

A fox whispering in your ear: corporate solutions to climate change

No industry, especially one as powerful as the fossil fuel industry, is going to allow governments or international bodies to tax or trade it out of existence.

An ambiguous role: NATO in the Arctic

Conditions in the Arctic in the 21st century come complete with territorial claims and lucrative opportunities. What role should NATO play in balancing the security implications for an increasingly accessed High North?

Trapped by borders, a global flotsam and jetsam

They arrive nameless and unnumbered by land or sea but ever-more unregulated migrants across the globe are falling victim to proliferating border-security regimes.

The 95% doctrine: climate change as a weapon of mass destruction

When we speak of WMD, we usually think of weapons - nuclear, biological, or chemical - that are delivered in a measurable moment in time. Consider climate change, then, a WMD on a particularly long fuse, already lit and there for any of us to see.  

The energy boom in Cyprus: pipeline to peace?

With energy supply in Europe a renewed concern, will the large reserves of natural gas in Cyprus become a peacemaker in the long-standing conflict, or become part of a larger game for regional stability? 

The conflict horizon

The last two decades have seen a growing global appetite for peace but unless concerted, informed action is taken the next two could bring darker times

Corporate hegemony and the Keystone Pipeline

Environmental management consistently projects an image that the risks of climate change can be managed and the extraction of dirty energy resources should continue. 

Sustainable security and the challenges of 2014

openSecurity's newest column explores the drivers of global insecurities and addresses their root causes. We look ahead to 2014 and the planet's unsustainable state. 

Sharing our future: how the world can avert climate chaos

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report calculated a ‘budget’ for greenhouse gas emissions  if global average temperature rise is to be contained within 1.5-2C. Amid fractious debates between rich and poor at the UN climate talks in Warsaw, Phil England spoke to Christian Aid’s expert, Mohamed Adow, about how countries could agree to share the remaining allowable emissions.

Security Council reform: why it matters and why it's not happening

On too many issues of global concern, the United Nations faces gridlock. The Security Council, embodying as it does the post-war oligopoly in its permanent membership, desperately needs reform to empower the wider world and to improve its effectiveness. But those with their feet under the table are reluctant to give way.

The global climate cliff

A combination of extreme weather events and a coming temperature rise may be enough to induce the serious political shift needed over climate change.

The climate shift: think and prepare

The imminence of severe climate disruption makes the work of those planning for the event more vital than ever.

Indian farmers trapped and desperate

A wave of suicides has swept through the Indian farming community in recent years as, driven into heavy debt by deadly competition, many small farmers don't see another way out. A market-fundamentalist Indian government has so far refused to take its responsibilities to stop this growing epidemic.

Chances for Peace, the second decade

The world faces immense and unavoidable security, climate and economic tests. In the effort to meet them, the second decade of the 21st century is crucial.

The Arctic: treasure in the vacuum

The geopolitical scramble to exploit the resource wealth unearthed by climate change exposes enduring classic realist tensions in an era of common global security concerns.

Foreign aid to local NGOs: good intentions, bad policy

International solidarity is a wonderful idea, and the notion of transferring resources from North to South for good causes is morally attractive. The mechanics of doing this properly, however, are far more complex. 

Seven years of shifting sands: South Sudan's government must make the change

In seven years of independent control, South Sudan has not diversified its economy. Now the domestic agricultural sector languishes and international agri-businesses procure land for export markets. This failure could fuel conflict, if real change is not made.

Yemen’s priorities: feed the starving children or security?

At the beginning of Ramadan 2012, recognition of the urgency of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is welcome, despite being so badly delayed. But who needs help most?

Maoist hostage crisis in India: government indifference makes Maoists give up on mediation

Mediation has been successful at bringing down levels of violence and bringing popular welfare and social justice demands onto the political agenda. These gains are  underthreat as the government fails to take the process seriously.

In the backyard of Russia’s oil paradise

Pavlovo village was once a quiet backwater in the forest-steppe of Perm Region. In 1997, however, ecological disaster struck, with oil and chemicals entering the local river and food chain. The culprits of the catastrophe were both rich and obvious, but justice was a long while in coming, writes Roman Yushkov

Post-Fukushima Japanese energy policy

Post-Fukushima Japan, realising that nuclear power is too costly and dangerous for a country exposed to natural events such as earthquakes, has opened up a debate. A new energy policy should be sustainable, and rely more on renewable energies.

Fukushima and Chernobyl: are there silver linings in chain reactions?

The author reported on the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and from on Fukushima in 2011. The silver lining of Chernobyl was that it really did ignite the process of glasnost. Unfortunately, though much needed, that is unlikely to happen in Japan because of the grip of the "nuclear village" on Japanese politics. The pressure group has seen off challenges from clean energy alternatives and has deep tentacles in the postwar Japanese state

Glaring emissions: the threat to Indonesia's rainforest

Thanks to the Orwellian double-speak of Indonesian emissions abatement strategy, the proposed solution may in fact be the disaster itself.

Chernobyl: the first month

Twenty-five years after the Chernobyl disaster, Barys Piatrovich recalls the tension of unknowing that gripped him and those around him during the days that followed. Today, barely any of the Chernobyl evacuees are still alive. Spread throughout the country, they died alone and unnoticed, statistically insignificant.

A co-publication with Eurozine

After Fukushima

As we pursue the abolition of nuclear weapons, we also need to phase out reliance on nuclear energy. Both are incompatible with our environmental and human security, says Rebecca Johnson.

The Arab crisis: food, energy, water, justice

Tunisia’s popular uprising is reverberating across the Arab world. But such movements face problems that go far wider than dictatorship to encompass the whole range of human security, says Vicken Cheterian.

Africa: Security and development for the twenty-first century

If the west is to continue to assert that there should be African solutions to African problems - as is so often espoused - then it is the west that must change its security paradigm

A world in breakdown

The events of a single day in three continents are a lesson in the interlocking crises that will define the decade.

No more 'Little Boy' and 'Fat Man'

As a political instrument of power projection and status, nuclear weapons carry a peculiarly masculine symbolism. In the 1980s, Greenham women were at the forefront of challenging masculine ideologies of defence and security. We need to seize the initiative and again become the agents of security transformation.

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