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, is encouraged by testimonies delivered today at a Congressional hearing titled “U.S. Security Implications of International Energy and Climate Policies and Issues.” CCS Co-Directors Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell stated: “Today’s testimonies reinforce the fact that our military and national security leaders are taking climate change very seriously. Policy-makers on both sides of the aisle should take note.”
The hearing, held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, International Environmental Protection, and Peace Corps, featured key national security experts, including retired Navy Rear Admiral David W. Titley, CCS Advisory Board and CNA Military Advisory Board member, Daniel Chiu, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development, and Michael Breen of the Truman National Security Project.
The hearing highlighted ways in which climate change is already affecting national security, and how our national security leadership is both addressing those consequences now, and preparing for long-term impacts, such as the potential for conflict. As Assistant Secretary of Defense Daniel Chiu noted in his testimony: “Maintaining stability within and among other nations is an important means of avoiding full-scale military conflicts. The impacts of climate change may cause instability in other countries by impairing access to food and water, damaging infrastructure, spreading disease, uprooting and displacing large numbers of people, compelling mass migration, increasing competition for natural resources, interrupting commercial activity, or restricting electricity availability.”
Rear Admiral David W. Titley, United States Navy (ret) concluded in his testimony: “The time for action is NOW. Projected climate change may cause increased instability around the world; we are not prepared for the pace of climate change as evidenced by our lack of capability and capacity to respond to the opening of the Arctic; climate change will likely impact our military readiness and support systems as well as cause increased demand for forces, both at home and abroad, and finally climate change will impact elements of our national power here at home.”
Read the Senate testimonies here: http://www.foreign.senate.gov/hearings/us-security-implications-of-international-energy-and-climate-policies-and-issues-7-22-14
To speak with a CCS expert and/or Advisory Board member on this topic contact Francesco Femia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related material: The U.S. military has been planning for climate change impacts from as early as 2003, as expressed in this collection of documents.