Canadian Maritime Security in an Era of Climate Change: The Away Game
Gillis, J. Matthew
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Beyond possible sovereignty disputes resulting from melting Arctic ice, very little is said or written about the maritime security implications of climate change. What does climate change mean for Canadian maritime security, and how can Canada adequately prepare to ensure continued safe and secure use of the world’s oceans in an era of climate change? Climate change is relevant to maritime security through two chief dimensions. First, navies will more frequently be tasked to deliver humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the wake of more intense natural disasters. Second, increasing disorder on land will ‘slop over’ into the world’s oceans, threatening the safety of maritime commerce. Canada has stakes in both of these dimensions, and so there is great impetus for preparedness. The recommended model for preparedness sees Canada’s navy adopting a more varied fleet structure, one better suited for constabulary and diplomatic functions as opposed to traditional military functions.