The Center for Climate & Security

Our Take: New Intelligence and Presidential Memos on Climate Change and National Security

SouthPorticoOn 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:

 

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.

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Event Today: Climate and National Security Forum 2016

CNSF 2016 LOGO - MASSIVEThe 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.

livestream

 

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Release: 3 Bipartisan Groups of Military and Security Leaders Urge New Course on Climate

USS AlbanyRelease: 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

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Intelligence Director on climate change as “underlying meta-driver of unpredictable instability”

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Tarbela Dam Pakistan during the 2010 floods. Photo by Paul Duncan, U.S. Marine Corps

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…)

Event: Climate and National Security Forum 2016

CNSF 2016 LOGO - MASSIVEThe 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

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On Record-Breaking Heat, Security and US-MENA Relations

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U.S. Army Spc. Kayla Hammonds, demonstrates to Iraqi army soldiers how to accurately gather the heat index in Baghdad, Iraq

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.

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Five Key Points from the 2016 World Risk Report

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New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina: A Texas Army National Guard deposits a bag of sand and gravel on-target

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…)

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