Last week, a new report was released by the Planetary Security Initiative (PSI), a multi-organization consortium including the Center for Climate and Security, and coordinated by the Netherlands’ Clingendael Institute. The report, titled Action on Climate and Security Risks, reviews global progress made to date on addressing the security implications of a changing climate. The review includes both significant concerns, and reasons for optimism. From the announcement:
By Rachel Fleishman, Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific, The Center for Climate and Security
On November 30 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, I participated in an event titled “Climate Change and Resources Security: Challenges for Security and the Security Sector in South Asia” – convened just as Cyclone Ockhi hit Sri Lanka’s southeastern coast.* The storm provided a somber backdrop for the discussions. In his opening remarks, Sri Lanka’s Secretary to the Ministry of Defense Kapila Waidyaratne reported 7 killed and hundreds displaced. By the end of the session the confirmed death toll was 11, with more than 3000 having been evacuated.
Anyone seeking a fast-forward view of climate impacts need look no further than South Asia. Asia as a region has the dubious distinction of being the most at risk from climate stress. South Asia is particularly ill-placed, because of both global meteorological patterns and the presence of massive populations living in poverty, often lacking adequate infrastructure or adaptive capacity. In his opening remarks, conference host and Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka Director General Asanga Abeyagoonasekera, revealed that one of the primary contributions the Institute is making to Sri Lanka’s 2030 strategic plan, focuses on the security implications of climate change. It’s not difficult to understand why. Below is a recap of the climate and security themes covered in this important conference, as well as four key takeaways. (more…)
It is not news that Twitter, for better or worse, has reached a new level of prominence in the political dialogue. As part of this new landscape, The Atlantic Council hosted a virtual “Twitter Town Hall on Nordic Contributions to Global Security” where people could submit questions directly to five Nordic country ambassadors to the US: Karin Olfsdotter of Sweden, Geir H. Haarde of Iceland, Kåre R. Aas of Norwary, Lars Gert Lose of Denmark, and Kirsti Kauppi of Finland. The Center for Climate and Security took the opportunity to ask the ambassadors a question on climate and security (naturally), and the ambassadors responded. The climate and security portion of the discussion is copied below, and the full town hall discussion is available on Twitter at #AskNordicAmbs. Thank you to the Atlantic Council and the ambassadors for the opportunity. (more…)
What: “Security & Climate Change in the Pacific: From Asia to the United States,” panel discussion followed by audience Q&A
Who: IISS-Americas and the Center for Climate and Security
When: November 28, 10:00-11:30am ET
Where: 2121 K Street NW, Suite 801, Washington, DC
RSVP: Click here.
Summary: Since the George H.W. Bush administration, the US security community has recognized the national security threats of climate change. These high-probability, high-impact threats have remained a priority area for action within Congress and the Department of Defense. The Asia-Pacific region is acutely vulnerable to the security impacts of climate change. A range of underlying security fragilities and geostrategic tensions will be shaped by increasingly frequent and severe disasters, impacts to coastal infrastructure and populations, sea level rise altering maritime boundary delimitations, greater food insecurity, and irregular migration flows. This discussion, featuring high-level experts from the Center for Climate and Security, will explore these risks, how US military installations, operations, and strategies in the region may be shaped by them, and their influence on US bilateral and multilateral relationships.
Washington, DC, November 15, 2017 — In its initial report released today, the Working Group on Climate, Nuclear, and Security Affairs, chaired by the Center for Climate and Security, has articulated a first-of-its kind framework for understanding and addressing the complex connections between climate change, security, and nuclear issues. The report arrives as the 23rd Conference of the Parties concludes its meeting in Bonn, Germany to plan implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and in the aftermath of President Trump’s tour of Asia, during which nuclear weapons issues featured prominently. (more…)