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USOSCE on Climate Change as the Paramount Existential Security Threat

USOSCE_finalMichael Camuñez, Assistant Secretary, at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and U.S. Helsinki Commissioner, recently spoke about the risks of climate change at a preparatory meeting for the Economic and Environmental Forum in Ukraine for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).  During his speech, Assistant Secretary Camuñez noted that climate change was “the paramount existential security threat facing us all today.”

The Ukrainian Chairmanship of the meeting selected the topic “Increasing Stability and Security through Sustainable Energy Solutions” as the focus of the discussion. Sec. Camuñez headed the U.S. delegation to the OSCE and his full statement is here. The notes on climate change and risk are below.

During the 1st EEF Forum in Vienna, participating States agreed that environmental degradation and the mismanagement of energy resources contribute to climate change and water and land scarcity, which threatens economic growth and stability in the region.  Extreme weather events can damage agricultural production as we know, paralyze the transport of goods and services, and result in an economic loss that reverberates across the globe.  Therefore, protecting our ecosystem and improving the management of our resources are at the core of our regional security and economic prosperity alike.  And certainly participating States, like all nations of the world, face the challenge of climate change and global warming, which is perhaps the paramount existential security threat facing us all today.  I believe the OSCE serves as an excellent platform to address these challenges and promote dialogue and cooperation between nations.

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