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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. (more…)

Climate Security Films Featured at DC Film Festival

AoCFrankMeme2This year’s Environmental Film Festival in Washington, DC will feature two films looking at the links between climate change and security –  Tidewater on March 20th and the Age of Consequences on March 21. The Center for Climate and Security advises the American Resilience Project, who produced Tidewater – a film that features members of the CCS Advisory Board. CCS’s Francesco Femia, along with a number of CCS’s Advisory Board members, are part of the Age of Consequences cast. Both are worth checking out if you are in the area. Details below. (more…)

RELEASE: U.S. Military Leaders Applaud Secretary Mattis’ Clear-Eyed View on Climate Change and Security

The_PentagonRELEASE: U.S. Military Leaders Applaud Secretary Mattis’ Clear-Eyed View on Climate Change and Security

Washington, D.C., March 16, 2017 — The Center for Climate and Security (CCS), a policy institute with an Advisory Board of retired senior military officers and national security experts, applauds Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ clear-eyed view on the national security risks of a changing climate, as expressed in excerpts from unpublished written testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, and offers recommendations for the way forward in its Briefing Book for a New Administration (pg 11). Among the excerpts, Secretary Mattis states: “Climate change can be a driver of instability and the Department of Defense must pay attention to potential adverse impacts generated by this phenomenon.” (more…)

RELEASE: U.S. Military Leaders Encouraged by Republican Climate Resolution

us_navy_military_sealift_command_underway_replenishment_oiler_usns_walter_s-_diehl_provides_fuel_and_suppliesRELEASE: U.S. Military Leaders Encouraged by Republican Climate Resolution

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 the recently-introduced Republican Climate Resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives. Francesco “Frank” Femia and Caitlin Werrell, Co-Founders and Directors, the Center for Climate and Security, noted: (more…)

Secretary Mattis Clear-Eyed on Climate Security Risks

James_MattisToday, ProPublica’s Andrew Revkin published a story on written testimony from Secretary of Defense James Mattis to the Senate Armed Services Committee (responses to the so-called Questions for the Record, or QFRs) wherein he strongly reaffirms the Pentagon’s practical stance on climate change: it’s a security risk that must be dealt with today – not at some distant point in the future. This builds on Department of Defense (DoD) assessments going all the way back to 1990, and makes clear that for the U.S. military, the matter is neither partisan nor ideological, but rather, a significant threat in the geostrategic landscape that the DoD has a responsibility to address. (more…)

The Streetlight Effect in Climate-Conflict Research on Africa

somaliaBy Cullen Hendrix, Senior Research Advisor, The Center for Climate and Security

Climate change research on Africa has a streetlight problem: researchers tend to invest more attention on former British colonies and countries with relatively open, stable political systems than other countries, with these factors emerging as more important than objective indicators of “need” like physical exposure to climate change or adaptive capacity. That is, our research seems less guided by objective need and more guided by convenience/safety concerns. (more…)

Munich Security Conference: Climate on the Agenda – What’s Next?

munich_skylineBy Shiloh Fetzek, Senior Fellow for International Affairs

Climate change was higher on the Munich Security Conference agenda than it has been in previous years, with a more-prominent panel and mentions by other speakers during the event, including EU High Representative/EC Vice-President Federica Mogherini, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and Bill Gates.

The panel “Climate Security: Good COP, Bad Cops” was given the central question: how can the security community help put nations of the world on a path to exceed commitments on climate change and sustainable development? (more…)