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NATO Allies Demand Ambitious Response to Climate Risks

GULF OF ADEN (Sept. 17, 2012) Sailors assigned to the visit, board, search, and seizure team from the guided-missile frigate USS Halyburton (FFG 40), provide water to fisherman in the Gulf of Aden. Halyburton is deployed with Commander, NATO Task Force 508 supporting Operation Ocean Shield, maritime interception operations and counter-piracy missions in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Raegen/Released)

Sailors assigned to the visit, board, search, and seizure team from the guided-missile frigate USS Halyburton, provide water to fisherman in the Gulf of Aden. Halyburton is deployed with Commander, NATO Task Force 508 supporting Operation Ocean Shield.(photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Raegen/Released)

On October 12th, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (PA), a group of lawmakers from NATO member states, passed a resolution urging Alliance members to more fully recognize climate risks and increase their foreign and national security policy responses. According to the NATO PA press release, this is the most recent step in a series of actions NATO has taken to better prepare for and respond to the security risks associated with climate change. From the release:

Climate change has been rising on the NATO agenda. As Allies observed in the 2010 Strategic Concept and reaffirmed at the 2014 NATO summit, climate change has the power to shape the Euro-Atlantic security environment, with “the potential to significantly affect NATO planning and operations.” Building on this momentum, the Allied lawmakers are now calling on NATO to take the next step and “increase the frequency of military and political consultations on climate change within NATO.”

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Upcoming Climate and Security Events Around the World

New_Orleans_USACE-Blackhawk-A-09-04-05_0072As a testament to the increasing demand for a broader and more nuanced understanding of how climate change interacts with foreign policy and national security priorities, there are A LOT of great upcoming climate and security events. Below is a list of public events with links to more information. We will be providing summaries of as many of these as possible via this blog, Twitter (@CntrClimSec) and Facebook (Center for Climate and Security). If you plan on attending, or following along online, keep the conversation flowing by using the hashtag #ClimateSecurity. (more…)

5 things to know about Hurricanes, Hampton Roads and National Security

The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) departs Naval Station Norfolk ahead of Hurricane Irene. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Parde

The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) departs Naval Station Norfolk ahead of Hurricane Irene. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Parde

By Matt Connolly, Center for Climate and Security Virginia Project Fellow

With Hurricane Joaquin threatening to hit the eastern seaboard this weekend, the United States’ largest naval base is on high alert.  At Naval Station Norfolk, sailors are working to secure the base against impending flooding and prepare for Sortie Condition Bravo, an order for all Navy ships in Virginia’s military-saturated Hampton Roads region to be prepared to leave port within 24 hours in order to avoid damage to ships and piers from high winds and seas.  
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Australian Defence Force: Aligning Climate Security Strategy with US & UK

Australian peacekeepers unload engineering equipment. Photo by, Australian Civil-Military Centre

Australian peacekeepers unload engineering equipment. Photo by, Australian Civil-Military Centre

The Australian Climate Council recently released a report: “Be Prepared: Climate Change, Security and Australia’s Defence Force.” The report provides a good overview of climate change risks to national security and adds a critical look at how the Australian Defence Force is (and is not) preparing for those risks, and how this compares to US and UK defense forces. The report draws from an international team of reviewers including CCS advisory board member Rear Admiral Dave Titley USN (Ret), as well as Professor Jon Barnett, Professor Alan Dupont, Captain Leo Goff, USN (ret.), Dr. Liz Hanna, and Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti RN (ret.). (more…)

Among DC Policymakers and Security Officials, All Eyes on Hampton Roads

Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) look on as the guided-missile frigate USS Nicholas (FFG 47) departs Naval Station Norfolk ahead of Hurricane Irene. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Chase/Released)

Sailors aboard the USS Mason (DDG 87) look on as the USS Nicholas (FFG 47) departs Naval Station Norfolk ahead of Hurricane Irene. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Chase/Released)

By Michael Wu, Policy Fellow, The Center for Climate and Security

“One area of immediate concern… is Hampton Roads.”– Judge Alice Hill, Senior Adviser for Preparedness and Resilience, National Security Council

Last week, students and faculty at Georgetown University Law Center held an event entitled, Threat Multiplier: Exploring the National Security Law and Policy Implications of Climate Change. The audience heard from a number of important members of the climate and security community. Notably, each of them mentioned Hampton Roads as a region that will present challenges and opportunities for United States national security and military readiness. (more…)

Recommended Reading: Sea Change Evolving Maritime Geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific Region

Map by, Eric Gaba (Sting - fr:Sting)

Map by, Eric Gaba (Sting – fr:Sting)

The Stimson Center and India’s Observer Research Foundation recently partnered on a project exploring evolving trends that intersect with natural resources in the Indo-Pacific region. This project produced Sea Change: Evolving Maritime Geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific Region. The report covers a wide geography, and some of the most critical crossroads of the 21st century. It  ranges from sea lanes to security partnerships, to fisheries. Essentially, it covers issues that may not be on every security analysts’ list of important issues, but should be. (more…)

Event: Threat-Multiplier: Exploring the National Security Law and Policy Implications of Climate Change

A U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter assigned to the 1st Battalion, 140th Aviation Regiment, California Army National Guard conducts annual helicopter bucket training at Irvine Lake, Calif., April 5, 2014, to prepare for wildfire season

A U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter assigned to the 1st Battalion, 140th Aviation Regiment, California Army National Guard conducts annual helicopter bucket training at Irvine Lake, Calif., to prepare for wildfire season

If you are in the Washington, DC area be sure to swing by the Georgetown Law Campus on March 20th for what will likely be an informative discussion amongst some of the best climate security thinkers (including CCS Advisory Board member, Sherri Goodman). Details for the discussion, “Threat-Multiplier: Exploring the National Security Law and Policy Implications of Climate Change,” are copied below.  (more…)