Heinz Brill

 

Since the end of 2011 seven billions of people have been living on earth, at least in terms of figures. The earth’s resources, however, are limited despite raw materials growing again and renewable forms of energy. Whether food, water or energy - we are on the brink of supply shortages and scarcity. There is no prospect of an end to growth in population. By 2050 about nine billions of people will be living on earth. According to UN predictions, this “population explosion” will increasingly change the world, because it does not take place in Europe, but in Asia, Africa and Ibero-America. Undoubtedly the intensity of distribution conflicts will increase, whereas at the same time resources, water, energy and soil determine the present discussions and represent the great challenges of the future. Concerning security policy, within the scenarios for stabilizing unstable regions experts (political advisers and think-tanks) are increasingly confronted with geo-economic and geo-ecological issues.

In numerous „trend analyses“ one can already detect which new rooms for manoeuvre, options and perspectives present themselves to the European and international political protagonists on account of the changed global general set-up in the beginning of the 21st century. For this reason, this paper mostly aims at working out relevant complexes of problems and main questions derived:

1. Is there an interrelation between demographic evolution and resources requirements?

2. Are arrangements possible between fixed factors (resources) and variable factors (demographic evolution) in order to guarantee a peaceful future of international politics?

3. Which conflict potentials and scenarios can be seen to emerge?

4. Which conflict solutions are being discussed?

With this outline this analysis is supposed to offer guidance in an age of change.

Survey and perspectives for security politics

Together with the rapid increase of world population, the rise of new powers, and their geo-political consequences, a worldwide structural change has become afoot. The supply of the world community with resources has been added to the great challenges of both new and old protagonists. In a world with seven billions of inhabitants many resources (renewable or growing again) have become scarce already today, particularly water, soils, energy, and food. In the short and middle term, they represent the great questions and tasks of the future, and they must not remain unanswered or unsolved, because the conflicts caused by resources will be the central topics of national and international security politics in the 21st century.