Legarda Renews Call: PHL Must Understand Threat of Climate Change to Nat’l Security

August 3, 2015

Senator Loren Legarda today renewed her call for the government to understand the effects of climate change in all aspects of society, including national security.


Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, made the statement following a report from the United States Department of Defense that regarded climate change as a security risk for the US.


“The US military has already seen the link between climate change and national security and they are starting to integrate possible impact of global warming into their planning. Our own defense force should also know the serious security risks that a changing climate presents, the conditions that this will create, how these may affect a country’s national security interests and what actions should the nation take to address these consequences,” she stressed.


According to the US military report, when “fragile governments” are unable to address the threats of climate change, such as disruption in food, water and power supplies, terrorist groups may use it as an opportunity to persuade people to believe in their ideology.


Legarda said the Philippine government should also look into how climate change could affect the country’s anti-terrorism and anti-insurgency programs.


The Senator reiterated that climate change is not just a scientific issue. “It is a cross-cutting concern that touches upon our basic human rights—the right to food, right to potable water, right to decent shelter and right to life itself,” she said.
“Projected decline in food production, spread of diseases, displacement of populations, and dwindling water supply may even lead to unprecedented societal demands that are beyond what the existing capability of governments can meet,” she added.


In 2011, the Senator already highlighted this concern during a forum on security implications of climate change that she organized with the British Embassy in Manila.


“We need to encourage the mainstreaming of climate change into national security and defense strategies. We need to explore partnerships, amidst national boundaries and divergent economic status, that will help the country build the mechanisms necessary to enhance resilience to climate impacts,” said Legarda.