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In the next 50 years, Belgium will be most likely faced in different ways with the effects of global climate change. There will be some internal effects inside Belgium, which have to do with changing weather patterns and their impact on land use, health, economy, energy supplies, or increasing vulnerability for emergency situations and extreme circumstances (such as droughts, floods, heat waves or pandemics) which will occur more often than before, and with greater intensity. But Belgium will also be affected by the events that take place outside our borders. In other parts of the world, where societies and individuals are more vulnerable, the negative impacts of climate change already let feel themselves. Coping with these impacts goes beyond the capacities of these populations and authorities, and growing environmental stress increases the pressure on already scarce resources.

In the European and Belgian policy documents concerning adaptation to climate change, “security” is approached in the first place from a non-military perspective. In line with that position and to prevent adding to the securitization of the issue of adaptation to climate change, in my recommendations I will not argue to extend the role of the Belgian Defence in this matter. Rather, the concept of being “climate change proof” is central in the recommendations on the current tasks and duties of the Belgian Defence.

 Being “climate change proof” works in two directions: for the Belgian Defence as an organisation (its infrastructure/patrimony and its operational capacities), and for the contribution of the Belgian Defence to a “climate change proof” society (“support to the nation”). The recommendations have been subdivided into actions for the short term and actions for the longer term.