RELEASE: The Center for Climate and Security Applauds the CNA Corporation’s New Military Advisory Board Report “National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change”
Washington, D.C. — The Center for Climate and Security (CCS), a policy institute with an Advisory Board of retired senior military officers and national security experts, applauds the release of the CNA Corporation’s new Military Advisory Board Report “National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change.”
Our changing climate presents long term challenges to our national security, both at home and abroad. Without action to build resilience, climate change will increase security risks across the globe. When it comes to thinking through long-term global challenges, none are more qualified than our most senior military leaders. CNA’s Military Advisory Board (MAB) has brought together some of our most experienced and thoughtful retired Admirals and Generals to reexamine our national security in the context of climate change. These officers are experts at managing risk and responding to conflict on the battlefield, and they are specialists in geopolitical analysis and long-range strategic planning.
The update is an urgent call to action. CCS Advisory Board member Lieutenant General John G. Castellaw, U.S. Marine Corps (ret), noted: “The CNA report reflects the seasoned military judgment of men and women who have spent their adult lives serving our Nation in war and peace. This report is a clarion call to action and should be acted on.”
MAB and CCS Advisory Board member Rear Admiral David W. Titley, United States Navy (ret) states in the report: “We know that when things go really bad, that’s when the U.S. military is called in…That’s why I see climate change as a national security issue.”
In the report, MAB and CCS Advisory Board member Admiral Frank “Skip” Bowman, Unites States Navy (ret) addresses the dangers of inaction: “Managing risk is seldom about dealing with absolute certainties but, rather, involves careful analysis of the probability of an event and the resultant consequences of that event occurring. Even very low probability events with devastating consequences must be considered and mitigation/ adaptation schemes developed and employed. We operate our nuclear submarine fleet in this fashion. Some may argue that this continuing process results in overdesign and overcautiousness. Maybe so, but our U.S. submarine safety record testifies to the wisdom of this approach. That’s where we should be with climate change knowns and unknowns.”
The report makes clear that climate change is taking place now and is not merely a future threat. Updating the MAB’s previous report, the board observes that climate change is more than a threat multiplier, serving also as a “catalyst of conflict” in vulnerable parts of the world. Looking ahead, the board notes that burgeoning populations, changes in governance and demographics around the world will make the challenges associated with climate change even more severe. For the first time the board looked closely at how climate change in the United States will impact our national security and identified key exposures including our infrastructure and our ability to maintain military readiness.
Drawing on CNA Corporation’s established analytical strength, this report deserves serious attention by every American, particularly those in a position to enact change.
In a joint statement, CCS Co-Directors Francesco “Frank” Femia and Caitlin Werrell concluded: “Senior military leaders, both retired and serving, are coming to the conclusion that climate change is an accelerating risk to national security. The new MAB report calls on our policy-makers to adopt a sense of urgency, and act.”
Read the full MAB report here: http://www.cna.org/reports/accelerating-risks
To speak with a CCS expert and/or Advisory Board member on this topic contact Francesco Femia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related material: For the U.S. military, climate change is not political. The U.S. military has been planning for climate change impacts from as early as 2003, as expressed in this collection of documents.