The Center for Climate & Security

Home » climate and security

Category Archives: climate and security

RELEASE: At Critical Juncture for the EU, Experts Unveil “Europe’s Responsibility to Prepare” Framework for Climate and Security

Europes Responsibility to Prepare_Cover ImageRELEASE: At a Critical Juncture for the EU, Experts Unveil “Europe’s Responsibility to Prepare (R2 Prepare)” Framework for Managing Security Risks of Climate Change

Brussels, Belgium – In advance of a critical meeting of European Union (EU) security leaders on June 22, which marks the 10th anniversary of the EU’s landmark report on climate change and security, two leading think tanks have released a report outlining a new framework for the European Union to transform its response to the security risks of climate change.

In “Europe’s Responsibility to Prepare: Managing Climate Security Risks in a Changing World”, the Center for Climate and Security (based in Washington, DC) and the Clingendael Institute (based in The Hague) argue that the security threats of climate change should be more routinely integrated into EU institutions at a senior level and be elevated alongside other ‘traditional’ security issues like terrorism and nuclear threats. As the EU’s conflict prevention mechanisms are making progress in better-addressing climate risks, the report gives detailed recommendations on what a response scaled to the threat of climate change across EU bodies could look like. (more…)

Climate Change Remains a Consistent Theme at Shangri-La Security Dialogue

U.S._Japan_and_Australian_Trilateral_meeting_Shangri-La 2018

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis meets with Australian Minister of Defense, Senator Marise Payne and Japanese Minister of Defense, Itsunori Onodera, at Shangri-La Dialogue, June 2, 2018. (DoD Photo by Tech Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

By Steve Tebbe, Policy Associate

When Florence Parly, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, called to “disarm the climate” at this year’s IISS Shangri-La Dialogue (17th Asia Security Summit), it helped exemplify how seriously the summit’s panelists were taking the security risks of climate change. The Dialogue continued the pattern of recent Shangri-La Dialogues and other security conferences, with a range of leading defense ministers and practitioners speaking on how the changing climate has impacted their security.

Asia-Pacific defense ministers, military and civilian staff gather in Shangri-La every year to discuss the trends and threats in Indo-Pacific regional security. News outlets have covered the emphasis on ASEAN terrorism, the Korean Peninsula, and emphasized the Indo-Pacific space across the Dialogue. However, climate security was included in a number of speaker’s talks this year, including Minister Parly, Ron Mark, the Minister of Defence of New Zealand, and Philip Barton, the Director-General for Consular and Security at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK. In the Sixth Special Session focusing on regional security cooperation, Vice Admiral Hervé de Bonnaventure, the Acting Director-General of International Relations and Strategy at the French Ministry of the Armed Forces noted that he believes climate directly changes military operations: (more…)

Climate and Security Week in Review: June 11-18

Enterprise, Alabama native assists in Caribbean disaster response and security training

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Anna V. Blank at Exercise Tradewinds which provides 20+ participating nations the opportunity to improve security and disaster response capabilities in the Caribbean. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann.)

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

  • BREAKING – Barbados PM Mia Mottley announces she will be attending the OECS Summit in St Lucia next week; reiterates that re-engaging in deeper relations with the OECS is beneficial; the Summit will tackle issues such as climate change, security & regional cooperation via @KevzPolitics

(more…)

Climate Security and Presidential Constitutional Responsibility

SouthPorticoBy Bishop Garrison, Policy Fellow

In my recent essay for the UC Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, as well as a follow-on piece for Inkstick Media, I discussed why under the constitution the president has a responsibility to confront climate change. Climate change is having a true effect on the world, reshaping how we live and operate. Decades ago, the national security community identified climate change as a threat to our safety and operations. Recently, the Department of Defense reaffirmed its belief in this threat. If national security experts have identified this issue over years of study and debate, then the President of the United States has an affirmative duty under the constitution to protect against it. This analysis is taking from my essay. (more…)

Climate and Security Week in Review: June 4-10

Coast_Guard_participates_in_joint_Arctic_search_and_rescue_exercise_150714-G-YE680-576

Coast Guard participates in joint Arctic search and rescue exercise. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Grant DeVuyst

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

(more…)

RELEASE: Amidst Growing Nuclear and Climate Threats, A New Series of Reports Issues Warnings and Recommendations

Working Group on Climate Nuclear and Security Affairs Report TwoRELEASE: 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. (more…)

Pirates and Climate Change: A Dispatch From the Bangladeshi Sundarbans

Bangladesh_boat_and_bank_near_Mongla

Mongla, Khulna, Bangladesh

By Peter Schwartzstein, Research Fellow

In the Bangladeshi Sundarbans, pirate gangs are king. They commandeer small ships, and smuggle contraband to and from nearby India. They kidnap local fishermen for ransom – though they give foreigners and scientists a wide berth for fear of attracting too much attention. And they sometimes poach rare Bengal Tigers. Here, in the world’s largest contiguous mangrove forest, they move through the dense jungle thicket like it’s their own personal fiefdom.

Many of these bandit crews are fugitive criminals, seeking sanctuary – and big loot – beyond the state’s reach. No matter how hard security forces try, they’ve struggled to police this sprawling labyrinth of isolated waterways. But as with seemingly everything else in Bangladesh, there’s a climate change angle, too. With worsening conditions in many coastal communities, in large part because of stronger and more frequent climate-induced disasters, farmers and fishermen are upping sticks and trying their luck elsewhere. As tales of the pirates’ riches waft through the villages, a particularly desperate – and unprincipled – subset among them appear to have succumbed to the promise of easy pickings on the high seas. (more…)