In Questions for the Record (QFRs) submitted by the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee to the Administration’s nominees for Assistant Secretary Of The Navy For Installations, Energy, And The Environment (Mrs. Phyllis L. Bayer) and Assistant Secretary Of The Air Force For Installations, Environment, And Energy (Mr. John Henderson), they were each asked a question on how they would address climate change-related risks to the Department of Defense. Both followed the lead of Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who has made some of the strongest statements of any Secretary of Defense on the need to address the security implications of climate change in his own responses to the QFRs. Below are Bayer’s and Henderson’s answers: (more…)
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics released a comprehensive new survey of climate change-related risks to military infrastructure worldwide. The study, prosaically titled “Climate-Related Risk to DoD Infrastructure Initial Vulnerability Assessment Survey (SLVAS) Report,” is a response to a Congressional request from 2016,* based on the DoD’s 2015 commitment to conducting a:
…global screening level assessment to determine installation vulnerabilities to climate-related security risks with the goal of identifying serious vulnerabilities and developing necessary adaptation strategies.
Led by Representatives Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Jim Langevin (D-RI), a bipartisan group of 106 lawmakers released an extraordinary letter last week urging the President of the United States to reconsider omission of climate change as a security threat in its National Security Strategy, citing the words of sitting Secretary of Defense James Mattis to underline the issue’s importance. (more…)
The close of 2017 demonstrated that attention to the security risks of climate change has grown significantly on the international stage. The annual international climate security gathering, the Planetary Security Conference (PSC for the acronym-inclined), took place in The Hague on December 12-13, and was immediately followed by a UN Security Council dialogue on climate and security on December 15, chaired by the Italian government. Further, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Congress, the EU and the Australian Senate, all showed leadership on addressing this risk. (more…)
Last week, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, or GAO, issued a report “Climate Change Adaptation: DoD Needs to Better Incorporate Adaptation into Planning and Collaboration at Overseas Installations.” In summary, the report found that, well, the DoD needs to better incorporate adaptation into planning and collaboration at overseas installations. It was a pretty descriptive title…See below for some extracts of note: (more…)
On December 15, 2017, the UN Security Council (UNSC) hosted an “Arria” meeting titled ‘Preparing for the security implications of rising temperatures.’ Click here for a full video of the event, and here for a backgrounder. As noted in a previous post, the meeting was chaired by Italy, and co-hosted with Sweden, Morocco, the UK, the Netherlands, Peru, Japan, France, the Maldives and Germany. Briefers included Halbe Zijlstra, Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Caitlin Werrell, Co-founder and President of the Center for Climate and Security. Caitlin Werrell, at the invitation of the meeting’s co-hosts, presented a Responsibility to Prepare agenda framework for elevating international attention to the security implications of climate change in an age of unprecedented risk and unprecedented foresight (read her prepared remarks here). (more…)
The Administration today released its first National Security Strategy. Click here for the official summary, and here for the full text. Notably, climate change is not listed as a national security risk in the document, though there are a few elements that relate to the subject. Below is the Center for Climate and Security’s out-of-the-gate reaction: (more…)