Climate change poses a global security threat as competition over energy and other resources heralds "significant potential conflicts" in Africa, the Middle East and between the European Union and Russia.

A stark report, written by two senior EU officials, Javier Solana, foreign policy chief and Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the Commissioner for External Relations, highlights seven threats unleashed by "intensified competition over access to, and control over, energy resources".

The warning comes as Europe's leaders prepare for an EU climate change summit to be held in Brussels later this week. Mr Solana and Mrs Ferrero-Waldner predict growing increased tensions between north and south because global warming is mainly driven by the rich north and west while its impact will be most devastating in the poor south.

One major concern is growing rivalry with Russia over a scramble to claim the geological resources opened by a thawing Arctic, developments with "potential consequences for international stability and European security interests".

"The rapid melting of the polar ice caps, in particular the Arctic, is opening up new waterways and international trade routes," says the report.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.