Climate Change

Climate Change and National Security: A Report from the 2019 Inter-Policy School Summit

July 8, 2020  • Energy and Environment Program & Harris School of Public Policy Inter-Policy School Summit

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The Inter-Policy School Summit is a student-run conference hosted by the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy that seeks to propose rigorous and tangible solutions to some of the most pressing global issues of our time. The 2019 Summit was held on March 1st – 3rd 2019. Policy students from fourteen universities in four countries gathered together to explore innovative strategies to address the issues of Climate Change and National Security, which will come to play an increasingly important role in the policy realm for decades to come.

The effects of climate change are not limited to increase of temperature. It causes famine, drought, and agricultural change, that can result in socioeconomic, political and environmental disasters. For example, extreme drought and increase in temperature threaten agricultural sustainability, while frequent natural disasters can contribute to serious migration crises. In recent years, countries have realized the widespread impacts of climate change as national security issues.

At the Summit, participants were assigned into groups concentrating on particular climate change impacts: Agriculture, Coastal Development, Conflict, Energy, Health, Labor and Migration. Partnered with the Aspen Institute’s Energy & Environmental Program, they discussed the challenges we are facing and worked to figure out ways to make contributions to our world. This white paper summarizes policy recommendations made by each group.