Nuclear risk and climate change connection analyzed in new World Future Council report

Press release

Groundbreaking research examines convergence of nuclear and climate threats and its implications for global security

Hamburg, Germany, 17th of May: The World Future Council (WFC) released its latest report today, entitled Climate Change, Nuclear Risks and Nuclear Disarmament: From Security Threats to Sustainable Peace. It is the outcome of groundbreaking research by a member of the WFC Peace and Disarmament Working Group, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheffran of the University of Hamburg.

The WFC report examines the linkages between nuclear and climate risks, noting that these two clear threats may interfere with each other in a mutually enforcing way. It also acknowledges that finding solutions to one problem area could lead to solutions in the other: “Preventing the dangers of climate change and nuclear war requires an integrated set of strategies that address the causes as well as the impacts on the natural and social environment.” Prof. Dr. Scheffran offers an approach to move away from these security threats to building sustainable peace.

The report was officially released in Geneva today at a seminar on the ecological and humanitarian consequences of nuclear warfare, organized by Mayors for Peace. Speaking on the second panel, Prof. Dr. Scheffran discussed the study’s implications for nuclear disarmament. The event was attended by UN Institute for Disarmament Research Director Theresa Hitchens, WFC Peace and Disarmament Programme Coordinator Rob van Riet, as well as other nuclear security experts, diplomats, government officials, and representatives of international organisations and civil society.

The study brings to light the multidimensional interplay between climate change, nuclear risks and nuclear disarmament, and its critical implications for the strategic security environment. In addition, it explores prospects and openings to tackle these key challenges, stressing the role played by institutions to “strengthen common ecological and human security, build and reinforce conflict-resolution mechanisms and low-carbon energy alternatives, and create sustainable lifecycles that respect the capabilities of the living world.”

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 The World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Its 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany.