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As the level of understanding about climate change has increased, the term “climate change
and security” or “climate security” has been increasingly used in the rapidly growing literature
on this subject. This term has also been used by political leaders around the world. However,
different interpretations and uses of the term “climate security” in the existing literature as well
as within political discourse have been one of major factors for increased confusion and
misunderstanding regarding this issue [1, 2].
This plenary lecture aims at explaining how notion of climate change and security has been
brough about in academia in the field of social science, and how it has been utilized in the real
world. Interpretations in academia have been evolving dramatically as impacts of climate
change became more intensive in the last decade. Meanwhile, actions to avoid or to minimize
damages due to climate change have been explained by other terms such as climate change
mitigation and adaptation strategies, and therefore, differentiation between these terms should
be sought for.
Traditional security studies often use two aspects to categorize variety of notions concerning
security: (1) type of threat, and (2) what is to be protected from threat. Based on these two
aspects, Table 1 categorizes four types of “climate change and security” discourse. Based on
the four types of definition, we are able to explain how discourse around this term is evolving.
With increasing frequency of climate-related extreme weather events, all the four types of
notion on climate change and security will further become important in future years.
How to Cite
Climate Change, ICTSGS, Sustainability
Sustainabity Science, 16(1), 271-281. DOI: 10.1007/s11625-020-00863-1.
 J. Busby (2019) The field of climate and security: a scan of the literature. The Social Science
Research Council (SSRC), April 2019.