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On August 29, EU defense ministers met to discuss “the effect of climate change on defence and security,” as part of a two-day meeting covering a range of critical security issues. The meeting, hosted in Helsinki by Finland, who currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, was chaired by the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. In her remarks following the meeting, Mogherini had this to say about the robust climate and defense conversation that occurred. (more…)
In a recent article published by Bloomberg News, Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret), former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and former commander of U.S. Southern Command – the Area of Responsibility (or AOR) that includes Brazil – makes a compelling case for how the fires in the Brazilian rainforest, and its implications for climate change, are a security issue not just for the country and its neighbors, but for the U.S. as well. He includes a quote from CCS Advisory Board member, Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, USN (Ret), stating: ‘As my good friend Denny Ginn, formerly the admiral in charge of all Navy installations, has said, “it’s not a matter of if, only a matter of time” before we have a catastrophic event.’ Read the full article here.
By Marc Kodack
The divisions that exist over perceptions of climate change are affected by how the information is framed – the words and statements that are used as well as the imagery that accompanies those statements. In particular, a persuasive and trusted source of information is critical for ensuring that the information is deemed credible by audiences. Recent research published in Science Communication examined how different sources, including military leaders, can affect an audience’s perceptions about climate change while keeping the message content constant. A critical finding in the research relevant to our work is that military leaders had, on average, the strongest affect on respondent beliefs about climate change, especially when communicating about its implications for U.S. national security.
San Antonio, Texas, holding the trademark of Military City, USA, is home to one of the largest concentrations of military bases in the United States. The city is also home to the Department of Defense’s largest medical center at Joint Base San Antonio Fort Sam Houston. So when climate change lands in San Antonio, it can have a real impact on military readiness and operations.
Join the World Affairs Council of San Antonio, the Center For Climate and Security, and the Truman National Security Project, TX Chapter for a discussion about climate change as viewed through the lens of national security, defense and global stability, including the significant consequences climate change poses and will likely pose in the future for Military City, USA. Click here to register. (more…)
In a press statement after the 864th meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (which is the organization’s decision-making entity on conflict “prevention, management and resolution”), the PSC highlighted climate change and its effects on security as a significant issue for its member states. The statement focuses on climate change impacts on infrastructure, access to vital resources and the most vulnerable, as well as its exacerbating effects on forced displacement and existing tensions among communities, and called on its member states to advance “adaptation measures with a view to building resilience in the communities facing climate change.” Click here for the full statement.
In a new report released by the Council of Canadian Academies’ Expert Panel on Climate Change Risks and Adaptation Potential (with the refreshingly prosaic title “Canada’s Top Climate Change Risks,”) the authors highlight twelve major climate change risks affecting Canada. While all twelve of the identified risks have a relationship with Canada’s national security in one form or another, two stand out in that context: Geopolitical Dynamics and Physical Infrastructure. From Table 2.1. on Page 11 of the report: (more…)
UPDATE: Chronology of U.S. Military Statements and Actions on Climate Change and Security: Jan 2017- August 2019
Since January 2017, at least thirty-two senior officials at the U.S. Defense Department (DoD) have publicly raised concerns about, and recommended actions to address, the security implications of climate change, both due to its effect on military infrastructure, readiness and operations, and its broader geostrategic implications for the United States. (more…)