G7: Climate Change, Security and Fragility As A Foreign Policy Priority

On Wednesday, at a meeting of G7 Foreign Ministers in800px-Homes_destroyed_by_Typhoon_Bopha_in_Cateel,_Davao_Oriental, Germany, “climate and security” was a major subject in a final communiqué. The G7 nations announced the need for a stronger, collaborative commitment to mitigating risks associated with climate change and state fragility. This announcement coincided with the presentation of a new report, A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks, to the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, produced by an independent consortium of think tanks, adelphiInternational Alert, the Wilson Center and the European Union Institute for Security Studies. The final communiqué states emphatically:  (more…)

Towards A More Climate Secure US-Latin American Policy

Panama Canal, Taken July 3, 2003, By Thomas Lamadrid

Panama Canal, 2003, By Thomas Lamadrid

President Obama recently returned from a visit to Latin America and the Caribbean. There was no shortage of agenda items: opening up ties with Cuba, trade agreements, and human rights issues. Climate change and energy security were also prevalent topics of discussion throughout the visit. In many ways, climate and energy issues provide an important avenue for furthering cooperation between the U.S. and the region, including as it relates to security priorities. (more…)

NATO Parliamentary Assembly on Climate Change and International Security

ZERKO VALLEY, Afghanistan, villagers affected by the flood in the Herat and Shindand district area (U.S. Air Force photo) via NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan

ZERKO VALLEY, Afghanistan, villagers affected by the flood in the Herat and Shindand district area (U.S. Air Force photo) via NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan

NATO Parliamentary Assembly Special Rapporteur, Philippe Vitel wrote a special draft report, Climate Change, International Security and the Way to Paris 2015, for NATO PA’s Science and Technology Committee. In the draft report, Vitel outlines some of the key links between climate change and international security, as well as the national perceptions of key NATO members on these links. This report is focused mostly on the Paris COP21 meeting, but as we argued in a piece co-authored with Sherri Goodman in Defense News, NATO can and should do considerably more to prepare for climate risks.  (more…)

President Obama’s Visit to Jamaica: Doubling Down on Climate Security Collaboration

Military Sealift Command personnel aboard the joint high speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) assist with small boat operations in the Caribbean Sea Aug. 24, 2014, during Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2014. SPS is an annual deployment of U.S. ships to the U.S. Southern Command's area of responsibility in the Caribbean and Latin America. The exercise involves information sharing with navies, coast guards and civilian services throughout the region.

Military Sealift Command personnel aboard the joint high speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) assist with small boat operations in the Caribbean Sea Aug. 24, 2014, during Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2014.

By Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett, United States Navy (Retired)
Senior Research Fellow, The Center for Climate and Security

President Obama will be making a short but historic trip to Kingston, Jamaica on the eve of the Summit of the Americas to be held in Panama (April 10–11). During his visit, Obama will meet with the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for discussions on regional security and trade. This presents an opportunity for leaders to discuss how the American-Caribbean strategic cooperation framework can be broadened to incorporate non-traditional security matters, such as climate change. (more…)

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