The link between climate change and human security has been on the global security radar for decades. Researchers have long understood how and why the earth’s climate is changing and what these changes mean for human and environmental systems. But the tenor of analysis of the implications of climate change has intensified in recent years as the scale of change and the enormity of the challenges facing humanity become clear.
The most critical element of the human security dimension of climate change is water security. As noted in the World Bank’s 2016 report on global water: “The impacts of climate change will be channeled primarily through the water cycle … Water-related climate risks cascade through food, energy, urban, and environmental systems. Growing populations, rising incomes, and expanding cities will converge upon a world where the demand for water rises exponentially, while supply becomes more erratic and uncertain”.