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From the West Coast to Asia: Climate Risk, the U.S. Military, and the Asia-Pacific Region

San Diego_7553By Shiloh Fetzek, Senior Fellow for International Affairs

The Center for Climate and Security recently held a one-day event in San Diego to discuss climate change and security issues as they affect the Pacific coast. Pacific-facing military installations and communities confront a unique set of climate risks and resilience issues. Geostrategic dynamics around expanding US defense posture in the Asia-Pacific also have implications for local planning and infrastructure (e.g. housing and transportation). The missions which these installations support may be influenced by climate-related factors, including fragility risk and demand for humanitarian assistance and disaster response in the Asia-Pacific. At the same time, climate stressors in the Southwest such as drought, wildfires, storms and sea level rise impact area installations and have a bearing on military readiness and operational capabilities.

San Diego hosts a concentration of military installations, one in five jobs in the area is military, and there is an exceptional degree of collaboration between the military, industry and civil entities to address climate resilience and other areas of mutual concern and interdependence.

Rear Admiral Yancy B Lindsey, Commander of Navy Region Southwest, joined Congressman Scott Peters, the Mayor of San Diego, Kevin Faulconer, as well as retired senior military leaders and representatives from local and state government, NGOs, academia and the private sector for a bipartisan discussion of climate security risk and resilience issues for San Diego and the US Pacific coast.

Please find a full summary of the event here.

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