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Countries Should Assess Climate Risk the Way they Assess Other Security Risks

National security leaders deal with deep uncertainty on a daily basis about everything from North Korea’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon to the location and timing of the next terrorist attack by non-state actors such as ISIS and al-Qaida. Security decision-makers don’t use uncertainty as an excuse to ignore security threats.

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G7: Climate Change, Security and Fragility as a Foreign Policy Priority

On Wednesday, at a meeting of G7 Foreign Ministers in800px-Homes_destroyed_by_Typhoon_Bopha_in_Cateel,_Davao_Oriental, Germany, “climate and security” was a major subject in a final communiqué. The G7 nations announced the need for a stronger, collaborative commitment to mitigating risks associated with climate change and state fragility. This announcement coincided with the presentation of a new report, A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks, to the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, produced by an independent consortium of think tanks, adelphiInternational Alert, the Wilson Center and the European Union Institute for Security Studies. The final communiqué states emphatically:  (more…)

Four-Star Warning: US Military Refuses To Be ‘Too Late’ On Climate Change

800px-Douglas_MacArthur_lands_Leyte1On the heels of the Department of Defenses’ updated Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board members General Anthony Zinni, USMC (ret), former commander-in-chief of U.S. Central Command, General Ron Keys, USAF (ret), former commander of U.S. Air Combat Command , and Admiral Frank “Skip” Bowman, USN (ret), the former director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program and the deputy administrator for Naval Reactors in the NNSA, wrote an Op-ed titled: “The US military refuses to be ‘too late’ on climate change.” The Op-ed was picked-up by over 30 newspapers across the United States and globally. (more…)

Look to Variability, Not Just Scarcity, for Water Conflict Clues

Water_reservoir,_yemenThis is a cross-post from the New Security Beat, written by Cullen Hendrix.

Opportunity Costs: Evidence Suggests Variability, Not Scarcity, Primary Driver of Water Conflict

Nearly 1 billion people lack reliable access to clean drinking water today. A report by the Water Resources Group projects that by 2030 annual global freshwater needs will reach 6.9 trillion cubic meters – 64 percent more than the existing accessible, reliable, and sustainable supply. This forecast, while alarming, likely understates the magnitude of tomorrow’s water challenge, as it does not account for the impacts of climate change. (more…)