As a group, we focused on how Britain could respond to changes in the climate and how these issues necessitate change in Britain's intelligence and information structure.

In 2045, changes in the international environment might result in problems with data/information sharing between governments, private institutions. Globally, this would mean that every state would be less prepared to counter transnational threats, such as pandemics, climate related disasters and cyber-warfare.  

There are growing concerns that the intelligence-gathering structures in western democracies are too focused on the issue of fighting cold-wars and countering-terrorism, with much less attention given to other pressing issues. Although admittedly conducted to assess the challenges by the ascendancy of China, a recent investigation by the Select Committee on Intelligence found that the US intelligence committee has not adapted to "the growing importance of interlocking non-military transnational threats, such as global health, economic security, and climate change". Given the current circumstances, the report notes that: 

"...if the IC does not, in close collaboration with the whole of government, identify early future transnational threats, such as a disease with pandemic potential, history might disastrously repeat itself."

Although the threat posed by traditional threats should not be overlooked, there is clearly a need to assess how intelligence agencies can be better deployed to handle the risks posed by climate change. The long-term issues are more widely discussed, but intelligence agencies can also be instrumental in combating the short-term problems. Drawing case studies from Syria, Mali and Burkina Faso, and from the eye-watering statistic that a half degree increase in local temperature can result in a ten to twenty percent increased likelihood of deadly conflict breaking out, Tarek Ghani and Robert Malley conclude that:  

"ending or preventing conflicts exacerbated by climate change requires a faster and different approach than addressing climate change itself."

They later note that:  

"the response to climate change cannot be limited to curbing its shocks. Rather, the focus will need to be on bolstering states’ ability to withstand those shocks and ensuring the resilience of their most vulnerable communities."  

Here we have the micro and macro issues produced by climate change. The intelligence community must expand its horizons to meet both these problems. By collecting and rapidly passing on intelligence which highlights an impending localised conflict, the intelligence community can help policy-makers use diplomatic and political tools to resolve crises. 

The intelligence community can also increase its contact with experts in academia to acquire the relevant information needed to battle climate change in the long-run. The changes to the structure of the intelligence community does not have to be seismic. The aforementioned intelligence report notes that the US intelligence committee could "leverage lessons learned from providing support to the counter-terrorism mission" to better supply health and and disaster response agencies with relevant and timely information. Most intelligence agencies also have a historical precedent of working with experts within the civilian community to meet crises, as seen in the use of mathematicians at Bletchly Park to crack the Enigma codes. 

By interacting closer with the relevant departments, those considered to be 'non-traditional' customers of intelligence like the Government Office for Science, the intelligence committee can help to provide solutions to the increasing number of climate-based issues.  

There are other issues caused by climate change to examine too. For the UK this could result in a growing numbers of climate refugees. As we have seen with previous refugee crises, the UK and the EU were unprepared for mass migration from economic, social and security perspectives. Britain could take a lead in developing information-sharing related to refugees, regarding demographics, counter-radicalization and making sure that social programs are directed at those in needs. 

We could apply the lessons learnt from the COVID pandemic, and by mapping previous responses globally, Britain could ensure successful transfer learning and acquire strategic information which could assist in long-term solutions to the climate crisis. With a focus on an international civil service, Britain can set long term strategic priorities which will outlast current political divides.  

As important as internationalism is to long-term strategy, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that many states are unwilling to share essential information that could save lives and help to ensure global stability. The UK might want to respond by creating internal and external information collection systems and developing robust systems to illicitly acquiring intelligence on climate related issues. Intelligence hubs with specific roles, such as the JTAC, could provide a suitable mold for future bodies which aim to collect, collate and share information related to pandemics and climate change.   

Britain is ideally placed (few countries have such a place internationally) to form intelligence sharing agencies within the EU, NATO and the Commonwealth countries. Britain should capitalise on it's position. In a similar vein, Britain is ideally placed to form international policies that will focus on countering the crimes which will become more common as a result of the change in climate e.g. illegal fishing, human trafficking. Similar policies are needed as we move further into the cyber-age, with a focus on developing pragmatic defences for communications systems.