U.S. Coast Guard On the Front Lines of Climate Change and National Security

Bow ThrustersToday, President Obama delivered the commencement address to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Excerpts from the speech related to climate change and security are below. The White House also simultaneously released a review of federal reports on climate change and national security here (for more documents and resources, see our ClimateSecurity101). Below are responses from Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board members and staff.

Lieutenant General John G. Castellaw, US Marine Corps (ret), Advisory Board Member, The Center for Climate and Security
“The U.S. Coast Guard is on the front lines of the national security implications of a changing climate. It’s time our nation’s policy-makers gave them the support they need to help prevent, prepare for and respond to those risks.” (more…)

Watch: Marc Levy on Climate Change, Violence and Insecurity

Northern_Mali_conflict.svgMarc Levy, Deputy Director of the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University, recently gave a presentation at Simon Fraser University titled, “Welcome to the Pressure Cooker: How Climate Change is making our World More Violent and Less Secure.” (Watch the full video here and below). The talk provides an excellent overview of the evolution of the security community’s understanding of climate risks, which in many ways parallels his own research, which began by trying to disprove the alarmists (only to find that some trends were worth being alarmed about)! Levy ‘s presentation provides a very matter-of-fact look at climate security risks and what the future likely holds. (more…)

Watch: Norway’s Chief of Defense on the Changing Arctic Climate and Security

Squadron arriving back at the Royal Norwegian Air Force Base Bardufoss, Norway in heavy snow after conducting an Arctic flying training sortie. Royal Navy

Squadron arriving back at the Royal Norwegian Air Force Base Bardufoss, Norway in heavy snow after conducting an Arctic flying training sortie. Royal Navy

Defense News’ Vago Muradian sat down with Norway’s chief of defense, Adm. Haakon Bruun-Hansen, to discuss how the changing climate in the Arctic is impacting strategic decisions, and the growing importance of conflict prevention. Adm. Bruun-Hansen emphasized that climate change is playing a significant role in shaping relations with, among other nations, Russia, and that it will continue to factor into operations in the high north.

The full interview, here, is worth a watch.

Climate Security Prominent in the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review

The crew of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) loads boxes of food and water donated by USAID during humanitarian aid missions to Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Tyler J. Clements

The crew of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) loads boxes of food and water donated by USAID during humanitarian aid missions to Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Tyler J. Clements

This afternoon the State Department released the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, (QDDR), a document outlining the strengths and gaps in our diplomacy and development efforts. The QDDR lists four strategic priorities. “Mitigating and adapting to climate change” is one of these priorities, along with “preventing and mitigating conflict and violent extremism,” “promoting resilient, open, democratic societies,” and “advancing inclusive economic growth.” As Secretary Kerry noted in the launch of the QDDR: “Each of these priorities is related to the need to provide better governance across the globe. They are all linked. “ (more…)

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