Here is a brief overview of the climate and security issues that caught our attention this week. (For a more extensive list see our twitter feed @CntrClimSec):
- U.S. Military, 3D Printing and Climate Change
The Center for Climate and Security released a new report this week,“The U.S. Military, 3D Printing, and a Climate Secure Future,” exploring advancements in 3D printing technology by the US military, and how the technology might be utilized for reducing climate-related risks.
- Australia’s Firefighting Force Must Double by 2030
Mehmet Burk, with ReliefAnalysis.com, looked at how climate change could catalyze the need for Australia to double its fire fighting force by 2030. But climate change’s global impacts could also unravel international mutual aid agreements used in the continent’s current response operations.
- Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti to the EU: “Failure to set a robust 2030 climate target will hurt our national security”
Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti delivered a serious warning to the European Commission in advance of the release of its “2030 climate change White Paper” in an article titled “Failure to set a robust 2030 climate target will hurt our national security.” In it, he recognizes the leadership role the European Union has played in climate mitigation, but asserts that: “…a failure to set an ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2030 would mean a failure to achieve the necessary resilience to cope with the impact of a changing climate. It would be gambling with not just the environment but also global stability and prosperity today and for generations to come.”
- Climate Change and Water in the “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community”
In his “Statement for the Record” regarding the “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community,” the Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper had a lot of ground to cover, ranging from the nuclear threat posed by Iran to the threat posed by cyber-saboteurs. And within that range of global and regional threats, those emanating from, or exacerbated by, a changing climate received prominent attention. Also worth reading is Neil Bhatiya’s “Clapper: Climate Threats Are a National Security Concern.”
- Extreme heat increases migration from rural areas
Tim Kovach looked at a new study published this week in Nature Climate Change (paywall) on the effects of different disasters on human migration patterns in rural Pakistan that found a robust relationship between extreme heat and out migration flows. Also worth reading is Lisa Friedman’s “Heat stress, not flooding, drives most climate migrants –study.”
- White House Comments on the Security Risks of Climate Change
On Wednesday of last week, Ben Rhodes, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting, hosted a short Q&A on national security via twitter. In response to a question from the Center for Climate and Security, Mr. Rhodes stated, “Climate change poses real security risks – including enviro catastrophes, displaces populations, conflict over resources…” see here for the full exchange.
- White House releases Implementation Plan for The National Strategy for the Arctic Region
The White House released the implementation plan on January 30th. To read it, click here. The White House released the “National Strategy for the Arctic Region” in May of last year (2013). Here is our coverage of that release as well.
- Climate and Security at the Munich Security Conference
We will be covering this in greater detail next week, but it’s worth following the events at this weekend’s Munich Security Conference. Climate and security have been featured quite prominently throughout the conference including in U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech and by United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, who stated: “Climate change is every much a security threat as an armed group bent on plunder.”