RELEASE: Amidst Growing Nuclear and Climate Threats, A New Series of Reports Issues Warnings and Recommendations
Washington, DC – Building on the success of its first groundbreaking report from 2017, today the Working Group on Climate Nuclear, and Security Affairs, a cross-sectoral group of distinguished nuclear affairs, climate and security experts chaired by the Center for Climate and Security, released a second report and series of briefers based on its 2018 deliberations. These short papers mark the first-ever step in exploring how to reduce emerging threats as nuclear trends, the effects of climate change, and underlying security dynamics collide in regions such as South Asia and the Middle East. Amidst growing nuclear and climate threats, this pioneering collaborative group has identified potential new and unexplored risks where these issues collide, and anticipatory solutions to those risks.
“Managing and mitigating these complex risks will require work by both government and non-governmental entities,” said Working Group Co-Chair Dr. Janne Nolan. “It is important that the Working Group identified many clear, implementable steps. These include increasing support for the International Atomic Energy Agency and integrating climate change and nuclear safety issues in the strategic and economic dialogues that the United States conducts with important partner countries like China and India.”
The briefers show the importance of collaboration between security experts in the nuclear affairs and climate security spheres (as well as in other security disciplines) to support common interests like strengthening international security institutions and norms. The reports also conclude that communities must also collaborate in pushing for the sustainment of critical scientific and technical work that can provide the data, information, and solutions needed to navigate complex risks, including robust monitoring and modeling systems and the wide-ranging capabilities of U.S. National Laboratories.
“New technologies and tools such as AI will allow security personnel and other experts to better understand the repercussions of these trends combining and get ahead of threats,” said Working Group Co-Chair Christine Parthemore. “The Working Group also recommended we robustly use long-proven tools like war-gaming and scenario building to understand and address the intersection of climate, nuclear, and security risks. These tools are especially critical in understanding countries such as Iran, Pakistan, Nigeria, Russia, and India.”
This innovative series establishes the complex challenges and implementable solutions associated with the intersection of climate change, security, and nuclear issues. The Working Group will continue this important research in the coming years, finding new ways to effectively reduce existential risks and bolster international stability.
The report and two briefers are available online at:
- Working Group on Climate, Nuclear and Security Affairs – “Report Two: A Clear Path for Complex Threats”
- Breakout Briefer 1: “Stability At Stake: Addressing Critical Regions Facing Complex Climate, Security, and Nuclear Risks”
- Breakout Briefer 2: “Expanding The Climate-Nuclear-Security Toolkit”
Christine Parthemore, cparthemore at climateandsecurity dot org
Working Group on Climate, Nuclear, and Security Affairs, “Report One: A Framework for Understanding and Managing the Intersection of Climate Change, Nuclear Affairs, and Security”
Backgrounder: “Climate, Nuclear, and Security Affairs”
Briefer: “The Climate-Nuclear-Security-Nexus: A Collision Course or a Road to New Opportunities?”
Climate-Nuclear-Security Nexus Program Page
Nuclear Security Working Group Website
The Center for Climate and Security (CCS) is a non-partisan institute of the Council on Strategic Risks, a non-profit organization, with a distinguished Advisory Board of military, national security and foreign policy experts.