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New Zealand Military Releases Climate Change Assessment

New Zealand Ministry of Defense_Climate and Security AssessmentBy Shiloh Fetzek

New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence released a climate change and security assessment today, reemphasizing the conclusion from many defense establishments that climate change poses a significant threat to national and regional security. The assessment states that “Climate change will be one of the greatest security challenges for New Zealand Defence in the coming decades.”

Titled The Climate Crisis: Defence Readiness and Responsibilities, the report also cites geostrategic competition as a motivator for climate security cooperation in the Pacific, noting that, “Some states could look to use assistance in climate change disaster adaptation, mitigation, response, and recovery as a way to increase influence and access.” (more…)

Climate and Security Time Machine: December 6, 1988

Выступление Михаила Горбачева на сессии Генеральной ассамблеи ООН

“Mikhail Gorbachev addressing UN General Assembly session”. December 1988, Photo by Yuryi Abramochkin

1988: Thirty years ago, on December 6, 1988, the world received a particularly authoritative warning on climate change, with a convergence of findings from a broad range of climate scientists that came together in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 43/53.[i] That resolution called for the creation of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to “provide internationally co-ordinated scientific assessments of the magnitude, timing and potential environmental and socio-economic impact of climate change and realistic response strategies.” (more…)

COP24: Climate Security, Big Data and the Responsibility to Prepare


COP24 Katowice plenary session, Photo by Doman84

On 13 December, at the COP24 in Katowice, Poland, the European External Action Service, in partnership with The Center for Climate and Security and the World Resources Institute (WRI), will hold a side event outlining new tools for anticipating climate security crises and practical institutional frameworks for using foresight to manage climate security risks.  (more…)

Climate and Security Week(s) in Review: Nov 19 – Dec 3

Citizen-Soldier helps contain California's deadliest fire

A U.S. Army UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter on a mission to drop water on the deadly Camp Fire (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Crystal Housman)

Here are a list of notable headlines and comments on climate and security matters from the past several weeks. If we’ve missed any, let us know.

  • Dec 1 – The latest installment of the National Climate Assessment mentions national security in a dozen different chapters, including a new one that focuses on how global warming affects U.S. international interests. via @EENewsUpdates
  • Dec 1 – The global responsibility to prepare for intersecting climate and nuclear risks via @CntrClimSec


The Climate and Security Podcast: Episode 3 with Brigadier General Gerald Galloway, USA (Ret)

GallowayPodcast2018Welcome again to The Climate and Security Podcast!

In the third episode, host Dr. Sweta Chakraborty talks to Brigadier General Gerald “Gerry” Galloway, U.S. Army (Ret) about the delicate relationship between “natural” and “national” security, how lessons and solutions from the Mississippi River Basin can inform the Mekong Delta (and vice versa), examples of nation-wide community resilience, solar power for dams, and so much more! (more…)

Climate Change Driving Great Power Tensions in the Arctic


Rough seas pound the hull of Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Arctic as she sails alongside Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua A. Moore

By John Conger

The Washington Post recently published an excellent report on the increased national security implications of the Arctic in an era of climate change.  It is well worth perusing, not only because of the important points Dan Lamothe makes about increased military activity in this increasingly accessible region, but also because of the impressive photos and videos by Kadir van Lohuizen and Yuri Kozyrev that are included in the multimedia piece. (more…)

National Security in the Fourth National Climate Assessment

USMilitaryReliefEffort TyphoonHaiyanNCA4

National Climate Assessment Figure 16.3 U.S. Military Relief Efforts in response to Typhoon Haiyan

Today, November 23rd, 2018, the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II was released. NCA4 Vol II, Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States, assesses a range of potential climate change-related impacts, with an aim to help decision makers better identify risks that could be avoided or reduced. The assessment follows Vol I, the Climate Science Special Report (CSSR), which was released in November 2017. Together, these reports meet the requirements of the Global Change Research Act, which mandates a quadrennial assessment of our understanding of global change and its impacts on the United States.

The last NCA3 was released in 2014. One of the main “Topics For Consideration In Future Assessments” was “National Security.” As such, there was a significant increase in the coverage of national security matters in this latest National Climate Assessment. This is consistent with assessments coming from both the Department of Defense and the National Intelligence Council during this Administration.  Below is a list of only those mentions of climate change impacts on national security and the military in the report that are explicit. The full assessment also covers broader human, food, water, and energy security matters, which can certainly have national security implications, so we encourage readers interested in climate and security to explore the whole report. (more…)