Worldwide Threat Assessment: Climate Magnifying Instability

James_R._Clapper_official_portraitThe U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence held a hearing on Feb. 8, 2016 on the Worldwide Threat Assessment, which is released by the National Intelligence Council every year. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s opening statement included mention of a range of threats. With regards to climate change, he noted:

Unpredictable instability has become the “new normal,” and this trend will continue for the foreseeable future…Extreme weather, climate change, environmental degradation, rising demand for food and water, poor policy decisions and inadequate infrastructure will magnify this instability.


Forthcoming Documentary on Climate and Security

The_PentagonThe Center for Climate and Security (CCS) is pleased to promote a forthcoming documentary film, THE AGE OF CONSEQUENCES, which explores the risks of climate change through the lens of national security and global stability. The film includes interviews with a number of individuals in the field, including the CCS’s Francesco Femia, CCS Advisory Board members Rear Admiral David W. Titley, USN (ret), Sherri Goodman, and Dr, Marcus King, and other leaders and experts, such as Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, UMSC (ret), Sharon Burke, Leon Fuerth, Tim Snyder, Mike Breen and Solomon Hsiang. The film will be released later in 2016. (more…)

Center for Climate and Security Named a Best New Think Tank

C&S LOGOFor the second year in row, the Center for Climate and Security (CCS) was named a “Best New Think Tank” in the Global Go To Think Tank Index Report. It’s an annual assessment of leading think tanks worldwide produced by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. CCS is honored to be included, and extends a big thank you to staff, Advisory Board members, colleagues, donors and friends for their support and guidance.

Admiral Sam J. Locklear Joins the Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board

UntitledThe Center for Climate and Security is honored to welcome Admiral Sam J. Locklear, United States Navy (Retired), to its distinguished Advisory Board of senior military, national security and foreign policy experts. Admiral Locklear recently retired from the US Navy after serving with distinction for over 39 years, including 15 years of service as a Flag Officer. During his significant tenure as a four star, Admiral Locklear lead at the highest levels serving as Commander U.S. Pacific Command, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, and Commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command.

As Commander U.S. Pacific Command, the United States’ oldest and largest geographic unified combatant command, he commanded all U.S. military forces operating across more than half the globe. He accurately assessed the rapidly changing geopolitical environment of the Indo-Asia-Pacific, the most militarized area of the world, made significant advancements in how U.S. forces are postured for crisis or contingency, and was instrumental in addressing the growing global cyber challenges in the region. A key architect of America’s rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, Admiral Locklear provided the vision, strategic framework, and detailed planning that began the rebalance of U.S. military influence to the Asia-Pacific. He skillfully managed the US military relationships with our five Pacific treaty allies, numerous key security partners, and emerging multilateral security forums. Additionally, he maintained a pragmatic but lasting relationship with China’s military and made significant progress in developing a deeper strategic security relationship with India. (more…)

Climate Change & Nuclear Risks


Main building of Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Station, near Zarechny, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia. Beloyarsk has the largest fast breeder reactor (BN-600) of the world and is currently building another one (BN-800).

By Christine Parthemore, Senior Research and Policy Fellow, the Center for Climate and Security

While experts have long spoken of a “nuclear renaissance” in the global energy market, the Paris climate negotiations brought nuclear power to a new prominence. Climate change, regional political balancing, and other drivers have combined to push many countries to pledge increases in nuclear energy capacity in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) submitted in advance of the 2015 climate conference.

Though these national emissions-reduction plans are not yet legally binding in most countries, they are providing a greater level of detail that we normally see on long-term nuclear energy intentions. This, in turn, allows us greater fidelity in mapping the potential spread of the nuclear knowledge, technologies, and products of greatest concern — indispensable knowledge that we can use to minimize risks of the proliferation or terrorist acquisition of nuclear materials. (more…)

New Dept. of Defense Directive on Climate and Security

The_PentagonBy RADM David Titley, USN (Ret.), Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security 

If you Google “arcane bureaucratic tool” the Department of Defense Directive (DODD) should be high on the results list.  That said, these little-known directives can be very influential in how the Pentagon conducts its day to day business.  However, late last week Robert Work, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, signed out a DODD that may just be the most meaningful climate-related document the DoD has released. (more…)

Video and Background Reading – Warriors and Weather: Climate and Security in America

Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) look on as the guided-missile frigate USS Nicholas (FFG 47) departs Naval Station Norfolk ahead of Hurricane Irene. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Chase/Released)

Sailors aboard the USS Nicholas as it departs Naval Station Norfolk ahead of Hurricane Irene. (U.S. Navy photo by Aaron Chase)

The Economist recently produced a short video, Warriors and weather: Climate change and national security in America. It’s a good overview of some of the issues the U.S. Department of Defense is grappling with in regards to climate change. The video is posted below. For those looking for more than a brief overview, also posted below are links to the documents and background sources for the information presented in the video. The background documents are listed in the order that they are mentioned in the video. (more…)

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