New Paper: Hydro-Diplomacy: Strengthening Foreign Policy for Transboundary Waters

Indus.A2002274.0610.1kmA new paper, “The Rise of Hydro-Diplomacy: Strengthening Foreign Policy For Transboundary Waters”  was recently released at World Water Week by Climate Diplomacy, a collaborative effort of the Federal Foreign Office and Berlin-based think tank adelphi.

The paper argues that foreign policy makers can and should do more to address transboundary water governance, and that by doing so it could enhance intersecting foreign policy interests. It includes multiple detailed examples of where transbounday water governance can be improved, and highlights the role climate change will play in contributing to water stress, stating: (more…)

Flood Relief in Kashmir: An Opportunity for Conflict Transformation?

Kashmir_mapThe worst flooding in decades has wreaked havoc in Kashmir, the disputed region between Pakistan and India, and one of the world’s most heavily militarized boarders. To date hundreds have lost their lives to the floods and landslides and thousands more remain stranded awaiting assistance. Responding to the flood is a top priority for both nations. Pakistani and Indian troops are diverting some of their attention away from on-going hostilities in order to focus on flood recovery.

However, the political realities outside the bounds of the flood waters will likely limit the extent of the goodwill shared between the nation’s leaders, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who have both offered flood relief assistance to their counterparts. (more…)

Climate Change and Cyber Threats: Acknowledging the Links

Climate and cyberBy Dan Allen, Research Fellow, the Center for Climate and Security

Climate change and cyber threats to security are two critical issues that share a lot in common. In a time of multiplying threats, and diminishing budgets, acknowledging and understanding these links will be a critical step in devising policies and practices to address them both.

Increased understanding among the U.S. security establishment

The U.S. security establishment increasingly understands that climate change impacts (ranging from consequences for food, water, energy, infrastructure and sea lane security) and cyber threats in the form of cyber warfare and cyber-crime, are emerging transnational threats that must be taken just as seriously as other threats, such as the proliferation of nuclear weapons or military aggression by competitor nations. This is evident in the way that both climate change and cyber-security are addressed in the 2010 and 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, the 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, and other important documents and policies. (more…)

NATO Summit Declares Climate Change Will Shape Future Security Environment

Master Sgt. Kevin Fife, Combined Air Power Transition Force mentor, direct people on to an Afghan Air Force Mi-17 transport helicopter on July 29, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Jimmie Barrow/RELEASED)

Master Sgt. Kevin Fife, Combined Air Power Transition Force mentor, directs people on to an Afghan Air Force Mi-17 transport helicopter on July 29, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Jimmie Barrow/RELEASED)

September 3-5 marked the most recent NATO summit  in Cardiff, Wales. One of the noted principal focuses of this year’s summit included: “NATO readiness to reinforce collective defence, and investing in capabilities to ensure the Alliance remains ready to face any challenge.” The just-released “Wales Summit Declaration” confirmed that climate change was in fact a part of that readiness challenge. As noted on point 110:

Key environmental and resource constraints, including health risks, climate change, water scarcity, and increasing energy needs will further shape the future security environment in areas of concern to NATO and have the potential to significantly affect NATO planning and operations.


Brazil: Water Woes, Climate Change and Security

Brazil_dry earth in Ibirapuera Park Sao PauloBy Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett, United States Navy (Ret)
Senior Research Fellow, the Center for Climate and Security

In restaurants across South America’s largest and most populous city, Sao Paulo, customers are being served drinks and meals on plastic cups and plates. The reason? A severe shortage of clean water, exacerbated by drought, means there’s no water for washing dishes. A burgeoning urban population and the effects of climate change are likely to exacerbate Brazil’s water woes. And given Brazil’s evolving role on the international stage, as an agricultural giant and a standard-bearer for a group of emerging economies, this will have both domestic and international security implications. (more…)

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