The Climate Crisis Is a Human Security, Not a National Security, Issue
Southern California Law Review Postscript, Vol. 93, 2019
9 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2019
Date Written: November 20, 2019
Climate change is one of the first times, in recent memory, where public debate about treating an issue as a matter of “national security” has occurred. Many, including members of the grassroots climate change movement, have called for climate change to be treated as a national security issue. While there are a host of good reasons for treating the climate crisis as a security concern, there are equally good reasons to worry about applying the national security label to climate change, which have largely been absent from public debate. For the first time in the legal literature, this Article articulates the downsides to treating climate change as a national security issue and demonstrates how the UN-mandated concept of “human security” provides a more effective framework. Human security realizes the benefits of securitization while lessening its costs. It does so by focusing on people, rather than the state, and emphasizing sustainable development policies necessary to mitigate, rather than just acclimate to, climate change. While explored here in-depth, these arguments are part of a larger, on-going project examining how the human security paradigm can generate more effective legal solutions than a national security framework for global challenges, like climate change.
Keywords: Climate Change, National Security
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