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Building a climate-ready military force

A proactive response to climate change can help build resiliency and comparative advantage

Militaries need to take a proactive rather than reactive approach to climate related strategy. Climate change poses an operational threat to militaries through more frequent extreme weather events like flooding, droughts, and storms. It can cause social upheaval causing mass migration events, political unrest, and disruption to supply chains globally.

For Ireland, a changing climate has the power to alter fish migration patterns bringing new fisheries protection challenges. It could open new shipping lanes to the Pacific in our territorial waters as artic ice to the north melts. It could cause a race for resources among the superpowers in the North Atlantic as the ice fields recede. On a practical level it can also increase the degradation rate of military infrastructure such as our aerodromes and naval service bases and limit the availability of fossil fuels to power machinery, equipment and remote command posts.

This Deloitte Global paper seeks to explore the defence challenges and opportunities that climate change brings for a country like Ireland and how it can adapt to them to build comparative advantage.

Hear from Shane Mohan, Partner, Consulting and Government and Public Services Lead

Viewing strategy with a climate lens will enable the militaries to build a more comprehensive picture of future missions and the operating environment. This will help militaries to instil climate resiliency lending them an operational advantage over threats and leading to better cooperation in multilateral missions, creating a climate-ready military force.

Hear from Kieran O’Neill, Partner, Consulting and Government and Public Services

Military forces globally are investigating climate and its impact on their future operations and the potential for severe disruption. The current European migration crisis has in part been spurred on by climate change on the African continent which has caused severe droughts and economic hardship. In other theatres climate disinformation is being weaponised by aggressor states to advance their own interests. Climate change cannot be ignored by any military force and must be factored into strategic thinking.

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We hope this paper is of benefit to you as we enter into this year ahead. To view our full range of services, or if you have any queries, meet the full Government and Public Services team here. 

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