Terrorism experts examine impact of climate change on threat landscape

As COP26 gets underway in Glasgow this week, a new partnership has been established to examine the impact of climate change on terrorism.

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), Pool Re Solutions and IFTRIP will together examine both the current and contemporary threats and global regional outlooks, and offer recommendations in risk mitigation.

Terrorism has significant implications for the insurance industry and it is hoped the study will be able to provide valuable data and analytics to measure and define the likely impacts of climate change on the threat landscape.

The three ways in which climate change and terrorism appear to interact, according to the groups, are as an indirect contributor; an ideological driver; and as a tool with which to control populations.

Bill Braniff, director of START said: “Climate change will be the most impactful global issue of our time and because negative outcomes are inevitable, it is critical that we invest now in a dedicated research agenda to help governments, the private sector and communities to direct resources effectively to treat, transfer or terminate risks. This study represents a critical and pragmatic contribution focused on implications for human and economic security. In truth, we are already observing violence, criminality and terrorism brought about directly and indirectly by climate change; this study will therefore serve as a call to action on an urgent issue.”

Julian Enoizi, Pool Re CEO and IFTRIP Secretariat, added: “We are delighted to partner with START, who already hold a distinguished reputation in the field of terrorism research. Pool Re is pleased to promote this as one of the initiatives to highlight and provide a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities the industry is facing. The threats and risks connected to climate change cannot simply be measured by natural disasters or extreme weather events. Climate change is causing poverty, destabilisation and mass migration on an unprecedented scale, all of which could lead to some serious challenges as regards terrorism if we don’t tackle climate change.”

The groups' findings will be presented at the next International Forum of Terrorism Risk Re/Insurance Pools meeting in Washington in May.

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