That future wars will be fought over water, rather than oil, has become something of a truism, particularly with regard to the Middle East. It’s also one that most water experts have refuted time and time and time again. But while this preference for cooperation over conflict may (and emphasis on may) remain true of interstate disputes, this blanket aversion to the ‘water wars’ narrative fails to account for the rash of other water-related hostilities that are erupting across many of the world’s drylands. As neither full-on warfare nor issues that necessarily resonate beyond specific, sometimes isolated areas, these ‘grey zone’ clashes don’t seem to be fully registering in the broader discussion of water conflicts. In failing to adequately account for the volume of localized violence, the world is probably chronically underestimating the extent to which water insecurity is already contributing to conflict.(more…)
“No one country can solve the climate crisis on its own. It’s exactly the kind of challenge the United Nations was created to solve.” – U.S. Special Envoy John Kerry, UNSC High Level Meeting on Climate Security
On February 23, the UK capped off its February Presidency of the UN Security Council (UNSC) by hosting a high-level meeting on climate security, chaired by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. At the meeting, Johnson noted, “it is absolutely clear that climate change is a threat to our collective security and the security of our nations….climate change is a geopolitical issue every bit as much as it is an environmental one. And if this Council is going to succeed in maintaining peace and security worldwide then it’s got to galvanise the whole range of UN agencies and organisations into a swift and effective response.”
What might such a swift and effective response look like? As the United States assumes the UNSC Presidency in March, it has an opportunity to turn the speeches at the UK-led meeting into lasting action. The Presidency will be Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield’s first chance to advance President Biden’s repeated pledges to put climate change at the center of U.S. foreign policy. Possible activities the US could consider, in support of its broader whole-of-government strategy as outlined in the Executive Order on the climate crisis, are the following:(more…)
We are cross-posting this article from our colleagues at New Security Beat to highlight a key opportunity for the U.S. Department of State and other national security agencies to implement provisions in the Biden Administration’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad which directs all national security agencies to integrate climate change into their country and regional strategies. The implementation of the Global Fragility Act is a key pathway for doing just that.(more…)
Note from CCS and CSR Co-Founder on Ten Years of Combating the Greatest Systemic Threats of Our Time
After ten years of work, first as Co-Founder and President of the Center for Climate and Security (CCS), then as Co-Founder and CEO of the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR), I will be stepping back from day-to-day leadership to focus my time on continuing to foster a new generation of thinkers and leaders that are anticipating, analyzing and addressing some of the most systemic threats to security in the 21st Century.
When Francesco Femia and I founded CCS and CSR, we could not have imagined the extraordinarily talented team and advisors we would have in place just ten years later, and the colleagues and friends from around the world we have had the opportunity and honor to work with.(more…)