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Climate change can serve Canada's enemies, warns CSIS

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Dec16,2023

Les climate change can serve Canada's enemies, reports CSIS

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Climate change could fuel international tensions and strain resources.

The Canadian Press

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The upheavals caused by climate change could make Canada more vulnerable in terms of food and energy supplies as well as in the Arctic, warns the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

According to a recent CSIS analysis, climate change will threaten national security as countries and other actors attempt to strengthen their place in the economic chessboard or exploit the new weaknesses of their opponents.

CSIS judges that climate change could fuel international tensions, contribute to instability and strain resources.

This document was obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

Canada's intelligence service lists a series of threats that Canada may face in the future, such as foreign interference and the emergence of electrical terrorism – extreme violence linked to extraction of critical minerals. The transition to green energy could be accompanied by a form of extreme violence. Another scenario mentions attempts to influence weather conditions through geoengineering.

The level of danger differs depending on the country, believes Tom Deligiannis, lecturer at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario.

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There are countries that have the capacity, resources and willingness to use economic pressure or any other form of coercion to take advantage of the context created by climate change, he said.

I don't think this poses a big risk to Canada. This is much more worrying for small, more vulnerable emerging countries.

A quote from Tom Deligiannis, lecturer at Wilfrid Laurier University, in Ontario

In 2021, CSIS already said it feared the increase in violence from groups advocating radical solutions to the fight against climate change or from people wanting to preserve their way of life current.

Today, hostile actors could target certain sectors to profit from climate change, which can cause additional and disproportionate harm to Canada, we read in the latest analysis of the intelligence service.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">For example, food production could decrease due to climate change, underlines the SCRS. Some countries could be tempted to acquire a large quantity of agricultural land and fertilizers in order to ensure their own food supply to the detriment of Canada and its allies.

Malicious countries could try to steal research and technical innovations to grow drought-resistant crops, the analysis notes. Water resources could become less reliable for harvesting or drinking.

Canada's energy security could also be undermined if foreign suppliers become unreliable .

Canada could encounter difficulty obtaining components abroad for solar and wind energy that cannot be produced domestically.

In northern Canada, melting permafrost could damage infrastructure, making Arctic regions even less habitable, CSIS predicts. Other countries could challenge Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic as melting ice creates new waterways in the area.

Competition to acquire the natural resources that will now be accessible will be fiercer in the northern regions, fears the SCRS. These vulnerable sectors are among the challenges that Canada and its allies will face due to climate change.

Mr. Deligiannis believes it will be prudent for the federal government to reflect and develop a plan to address these possibilities. It's helpful for him to have an analysis of some of the consequences of climate change in Canada.

The extraction of minerals essential for green energy is considered a way to save the planet, recalls Gabrielle Daoust, assistant professor at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Such activity raises difficult political and moral questions, she emphasizes. Indigenous communities are already the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and are disproportionately affected by the growth in mineral development attributable to climate change.

The Integrated Terrorism Assessment Center noted in March that international competition for lithium and cobalt reserves could provoke rebellions and cross-border conflicts that could harm Canadian interests abroad, particularly in places where Canadian companies are present.

Canada has its own cobalt reserves, but its lithium reserves are less developed, the note says. p>

The Center feared violent acts by both opponents of fossil fuel-driven exploitation and opponents of green energy.

Mr. Deligiannis and Ms. Daoust express concerns about viewing pipeline opponents as extremists. They recall that environmental activists are already the target of state security agencies.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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