The Center for Climate & Security

UK publishes new Climate-Defence Roadmap aiming for Zero-Emissions by 2050

This is a cross-post from The Planetary Security Initiative

The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) published a new roadmap on how to address the impacts of climate change on the activities of the armed forces. The ambition outlined is to enhance the resilience of the army’s operations and assets, whilst also creating a more sustainable and environmentally focused culture within the wider defence sector. Lieutenant-General Richard Nugee, who spoke at the webinar on climate security hosted by the PSI and British Embassy in the Netherlands last month, was tasked by the MoD to assess the readiness of the British armed forces to climate considerations. The publication of the report led to the roadmap, which outlines three core focuses for climate-reform within the military with targets set by 2050:

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Congressional Hearing on Resilience Highlights Climate Change Risks

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By John Conger

On Friday, March 26, the Readiness Subcommittee of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee held a hearing on resilience, which in recent years has become synonymous with climate change adaptation.  It was a remarkably substantive hearing, with senior representatives of the military services (LTG Douglas Gabram, Commander Army Installations Management Command; VADM Yancey Lindsey, Commander Navy Installations Command; MajGen Edward Banta, Commander Marine Corps Installations Command; and Brig Gen John Allen, Commander Air Force Civil Engineering Center) citing progress on a variety of fronts, listing actions at specific bases, and clearly communicating the seriousness of the resilience requirement in the face of climate change and the increasing impacts of extreme weather.  It was also clear, however, that they had a very long way to go.

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This Month, Meet the CSR Women Making History

By Christine Cavallo

As Women’s History Month draws to a close, we are excited to highlight the women across the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) who are leading and shaping all of our organizations components: the Center for Climate and Security (CCS), the Converging Risks Lab (CRL), and the Janne E. Nolan Center on Strategic Weapons (the Nolan Center).

First, we must recognize that the Council on Strategic Risks would not be what it is today without the immense and irreplaceable support of founding board member, the late Dr. Janne E. Nolan. She had a long career as an author and a dedicated public servant, working across the State Department, the Senate Armed Services Committee, and as the defense advisor to several presidential campaigns and transition teams among numerous other positions. Her work continued into nonprofits and academia as she pioneered nuclear security affairs and practical, non-partisan solutions for anticipating, analyzing and addressing systemic risks to security. CSR’s CEO Christine Parthemore penned a blog post earlier this month about how this organization—and the entire field of national security—would not be what they are today without Janne’s leadership and contributions.

The depth of talent across CSR cannot be overstated. The women on our Board and our core teams have trailblazed their way through security and scientific spaces, and worked tirelessly to push boundaries and build new career fields for others. Many have served as the cornerstones of growth and progress in their fields, and continue to build on those foundations and advance solutions to nuclear, climate, environmental, and biological threats and beyond.

We reached out to some of those women to ask about each of their paths, and we share their answers with you below: 

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A Climate Security Plan for America Part 3: Support Allies and Partners

By Erin Sikorsky

Part 3 of 4 in the Climate Security Plan for America blog series

See part 1, “Demonstrate Leadership,” here and part 2, “Assess Climate Risks,” here

As the Presidentially-mandated deadline approaches for US foreign policy agencies to integrate climate change into their regional and country strategies, it is a perfect moment to examine the recommendations in part 3 of our Climate Security Plan for America: Supporting Allies and Partners. The Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad tasked all agencies that “engage in extensive international work” to develop within 90 days “strategies and implementation plans for integrating climate considerations into their international work.” The EO was signed on 27 January, so the due date for the plans is April 27, just a few days after the US-led Earth Day Leaders Summit on climate change. 

Why is supporting U.S. allies and partners in building resilience to climate security threats so important? As the pandemic has shown, when it comes to transnational, actorless threats, we’re all in this together. Climate change vulnerabilities in other states can affect US national security directly or indirectly — whether by straining the governments of key allies and partners, creating openings for violent non-state actors to gain traction, or contributing to drivers of conflict and instability. Even developed countries are likely to need more assistance in developing resilience strategies in the coming years, as communities barely have time to recover from one shock when the next one hits. For example, just last week Australia saw record-breaking floods hit areas still recovering from last year’s record-breaking wildfires.

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