On September 21, 2016, the Obama Administration made two significant announcements related to climate change and national security – one which highlights the latest intelligence on the nature of the risk, and the second which lays the foundation for managing that risk across agencies. This included:
- A report from the National Intelligence Council (NIC): “Implications for US National Security of Anticipated Climate Change”;
- A Presidential Memorandum (PM): Climate Change and National Security, establishing an organizational framework for managing climate change risks to national security, to be be run by the National Security Advisor and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
These releases both reflect the reality of this accelerating risk, as identified by many in the bipartisan national security community to date, as well as practical next steps recommended by the Climate and Security Advisory Group.
The Center for Climate and Security, in partnership with the Center for the National Interest and the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, is hosting the first annual Climate and National Security Forum today from 8:45am-6:30pm ET. The Forum will be held in Washington, DC at the Reserve Officer’s Association Minuteman Memorial Building, 1 Constitution Ave NE. You can also watch a livestream of the event by clicking on either the livestream button below (highest quality), or the Center for Climate and Security Facebook page.
Release: Three Bipartisan Groups of Military and National Security Leaders Urge Robust New Course on Climate Change
— Bipartisan Group of Military and National Security Experts Announce Consensus Statement on Climate Change
— National Security Experts Release Briefing Book for Next Commander in Chief Mapping New Approach to Climate Change
— New Military Expert Panel Report Warns of Coastal U.S. Military Bases’ Vulnerability to Rising Seas
Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, recently addressed the 2016 INSA & AFCEA Intelligence & National Security Summit. He spoke specifically to national intelligence during a time of transition between administrations, and how looking out at potential future failures and collapses over the coming decades, climate change will be “an underlying meta-driver of unpredictable instability.”
Clapper’s remarks covered the existing security landscape that will continue through to the next administration, regardless of who becomes Commander In Chief. He calls it “a world of unpredictable instability.” From his remarks: (more…)
The Center for Climate and Security, in partnership with the Center for the National Interest and the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, will be hosting the first annual Climate and National Security Forum on September 14 from 8:45am-6:30pm ET. The Forum will be held in Washington, DC at the Reserve Officers Association Minuteman Memorial Building, 1 Constitution Ave NE. To RSVP, please send an email with your name, title and affiliation to Neil Bhatiya at: nbhatiya[at]climateandsecurity[dot]org
The Cipher Brief published a commentary from us today on the recent record-breaking heat in the Middle East and North Africa, how that fits into the picture of climate and security risks in the region, and what that may mean for the US role in the Middle East and North Africa. From the article:
Instability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is at its worst in recent memory. While political volatility has been something of a constant in the region for much of the past century, threats to regional security – and to the nation-state system itself (for example, powerful terrorist groups seeking to establish a transnational caliphate) – are increasing.
Common headlines include air strikes, massive refugee crises, attempted coups, and battles with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) spanning multiple countries. Another headline – the kind too often ignored by foreign policy and security analysts – is the record-breaking heat wave occurring in places such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco, and Iraq, and speculation about the long-term habitability of parts of the region. Coupled with precipitation decline, increasingly severe droughts, and rising sea levels, the heat waves and the actual climate of the region cannot be separated from its political climate. If these problems aren’t addressed as a systemic whole, the region will likely not recover. The United States must take that into consideration.
This is a cross-post from The United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security.
Every year the World Risk Report (WRR) and its World Risk Index (WRI) analyze the exposure and vulnerability to natural hazards of over 170 countries, in order to assess the drivers and hotspots of disaster risk. UNU-EHS publishes the report jointly with Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft and in cooperation with the University of Stuttgart. (more…)