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State of the Union: Pentagon Recognizes “Immediate Risks” Posed by Climate Change

Army_Gen._Martin_E._Dempsey,_chairman_of_the_Joint_Chiefs_of_Staff,_and_other_defense_leaders_cited_in_President_Barack_Obama's_State_of_the_Union_address_at_t_140128-D-XXXB-004aIn his State of the Union address last night, President Obama recognized the Pentagon’s concerns about the security risks of a changing climate, stating:

The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.

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RELEASE: Pentagon’s Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan

120620-N-RY232-371RELEASE: Center for Climate and Security Encouraged by Pentagon’s Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan

Washington, D.C. — The Center for Climate and Security (CCS), a policy institute with an Advisory Board of retired senior military officers and national security experts, is encouraged by the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) recently-released 2014 Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP), which states: “Climate change is predicted to affect the Department in many ways, including direct effects on installations and indirect effects on regional stability, particularly those regions of the world already prone to conflict.” (more…)

Managing Risk in an Era of Irreversible Climate Change

Pakistan flood reliefThe latest synthesis report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) re-issued some dire warnings. These include significant risks to food security, and the increased probability of conflict that could occur as climate change amplifies other known drivers of conflict, such as “poverty” and “economic shocks.”

But the top takeaway from the climate-security point of view is the notion that we are very close to climate change inflicting “severe, widespread, and irreversible” damage, and that “many aspects of climate change and its impacts will continue for centuries, even if anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are stopped.” The bottom line is that no matter what we do or do not do today to slow the rate of climate change, we are going to have to prepare to live in a warmer and more insecure world. (more…)

Media Roundup: The Pentagon’s Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap

FEMA__Flooded_road_in_rural_MissouriThe Department of Defense released its 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap (CCAR) last week. The very first sentence of the report notes: “Climate change will affect the DoD’s ability to defend the nation and poses immediate risks to U.S. national security.” This is some of the strongest language we’ve seen from the DoD, making it clear that the U.S. military views climate change as an immediate risk, not just a future concern. This resulted in a significant amount of media coverage around the report, which we have compiled below. (more…)

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