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Rick Noack with the Washington Post recently penned an article titled “Experts are predicting a famine in South Sudan. Why can’t we stop it?” In the article, Noack explores the dire situation in the world’s newest nation. South Sudan, in the midst of an ongoing conflict, now faces the threat of famine. There are warning signs that the famine will endanger the lives of millions, yet actions to avert the crisis do not seem commensurate to the scale of the risk. As Noack states: “The problem is that South Sudan is following a standard pattern for these kinds of problems: The help only really arrives once it’s too late.”
The situation in South Sudan certainly deserves more immediate attention and response. It is also worth considering what can be learned from this situation about risk management in general. (more…)
Floods have wreaked havoc on communities since time immemorial, and play a significant role in the mythologies of disparate cultures, ranging from the Gilgamesh of ancient Babylon to Popol Vuh of the Mesoamerican Mayans. But while floods seem to have been prevalent in humanity’s misty past, they may play an even more prominent role in our future. (more…)
Defense News has just published an article (broken link, see PDF of article here) co-written by CNA’s Sherri Goodman and The Center for Climate and Security’s Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell. The commentary seeks to answer the question: What does the appointment of Jens Stoltenberg as the next NATO Secretary General mean for NATO’s climate change mission?
While NATO certainly has its hands full with recent developments in and around Ukraine, it will have to be able to address multiple security risks on multiple fronts. Given that NATO has long recognized that climate change is a threat to security, addressing climate-related risks should not fall too far to the wayside. Stoltenberg has experience in taking firm stances on both traditional matters of national security during his tenure as Prime Minister of Norway, and on climate change as a UN Special Envoy.
With the strong support of key member states like the United States, Germany and the UK, who have also supported addressing the security risks of climate change, the next Secretary General of NATO could make substantial gains in preparing the alliance for these risks. But it won’t be easy.
For more on the opportunities and challenges that await NATO’s next Secretary General, read the article here.
Updated 10/5/2017: The original link to the Defense News article is now broken. A PDF of the article produced by the Center for Climate and Security can be found here.
The Journal Climate Change has just released a new special issue titled “Climate and Security: Evidence, Emerging Risks, and a New Agenda.” This issue provides a timely assessment of the current state of peer-reviewed climate and security research. It is critically important to continue research in the space and disentangle the links between climate change, peace and conflict. This body of research suggests that there is ample evidence that climate change can act as a “threat multiplier” – exacerbating other socio-political, economic and environmental conditions, but that there is a need to continue investigating the minutiae of how exactly climate change interacts with these factors, and what it could mean for a future with a greater intensity and frequency of climatic events. (more…)