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09 Jun 2021, 13:20
Julian Wettengel

People in G7 and emerging countries see climate as major security risk – survey

Clean Energy Wire

The top risks perceived by German respondents in the Munich Security Index 2021 survey by the Munich Security Conference (MSC) are climate change, the destruction of natural habitats, extreme weather and forest fires, followed by other risks like the coronavirus pandemic and terrorism. Climate is also among the top issues in other G7 and also emerging countries like India and Brazil. For the index, 12,000 people were surveyed in G7 and BRICS nations by Kekst CNC. Fifty-eight  percent of respondents across all countries surveyed expect the risk of climate change to increase, almost twice the percentage of those who expect it to stay the same (33%). Almost two in three respondents (64%) across all G7 and BRICS countries believe that climate change could have a very significant impact on the country that they live in. These figures are highest in Brazil (80%), Italy, and South Africa (71% each), and are lowest in the US (53%) and China (57%). Germans are most sceptical about states reaching their goals: Sixty-three percent said that other countries cannot be trusted to meet their climate change obligations. Sixty-one percent of respondents in Germany agree that states should introduce binding targets to get to net zero CO2 emissions, only 11 percent disagreed.

The survey results are also reflected in the international security community, said MSC head Wolfgang Ischinger. “Climate and health are increasingly important elements of our security policy,” he told Clean Energy Wire at a press conference. The right policies in these fields could prevent crises, poverty, migratory pressure and instability in general, he added. This year’s Munich Security Report includes a chapter on how climate and energy have become central domains of great-power competition. The report says that states are largely missing the opportunity to build back better after the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the energy transition has the potential to be highly disruptive: “it could be accompanied by a destabilisation of fossil fuel exporting countries, the emergence of a new, green resource curse, and growing risks associated with the dependence on critical inputs to the green energy revolution.”

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