The Center for Climate & Security

From Analysis to Action: Two Events on Climate Security Next Steps

“The science is clear: We have only a brief window to raise our ambition and rise to meet the threat of climate change,” U.S. President Joe Biden at the COP in Glasgow. – November 1, 2021

In the wake of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) and the Biden Administration’s release of a suite of climate security documents, the Center for Climate and Security is hosting two virtual events to put the latest developments in context. Both sessions will tackle how the US government can move from analysis to action on climate security. We hope you can join us for these important discussions.

12 November – Climate Security After the COP: Next Steps for the United States

This joint event held by the Center for Climate and Security with the Wilson Center will feature senior US government officials from the Department of Defense, National Security Council and USAID responsible for implementing the Biden Administration’s “whole of government” response to climate security. 

12 November 2021 

9:30-11:00 AM EST

RSVP and speaker details here.

17 November — From Analysis to Action: Integrating Climate Security into the National Security and National Defense Strategies

This discussion will feature experts from the Council on Strategic Risks’s Center for Climate and Security and Converging Risks Lab, and the US Institute of Peace discussing the integration of climate security considerations into the U.S. National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy. 

Questions for discussion include: Why is mainstreaming climate change analysis across security and peacebuilding strategies so important? What opportunities are afforded by bringing a “climate lens” to national security? How can the findings of the newest reports released by the Biden Administration help move this important work forward?

17 November 2021

1:30-3:00 PM EST

RSVP and speaker details here.

A Recipe for Perpetual Insecurity? The Case of a Syrian Protected Area


By Peter Schwartzstein

As snapshots of Syria’s environmental degradation go, Jebel Abdelaziz, in the northeastern part of the country, is hard to beat. The mountain’s rocky flanks offer little for livestock. The semi-arid surrounding plain offers little for man or beast. Extending over 50km (31 miles) from Hasakah into the lightly populated scrub in the country’s northeast, the Jebel, or mountain – and the villages that border it – are a study in scarcity, hopelessness, and grinding poverty.

“We are the poorest of the poor,” said Abdelaziz Abdelrahman who has lost half his sheep to starvation this year and whose five remaining animals look like they might soon join the others. 

“We have nothing,” echoed Om Mohammed, a mother of seven and resident of Jouran Abyad village, when we met on a field visit in September. Her clothes threadbare and lone field uncultivable, she was barely exaggerating. 

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CSR’s Rod Schoonover Cited in House Oversight Hearing: Climate Disinformation a Security Issue

On October 28, 2021 the House Committee on Oversight and Reform convened a hearing on the alleged role of the fossil fuel industry in promoting climate disinformation. This was the first time that executives from Exxon Mobil, BP, Chevron, and Royal Dutch Shell testified under oath on the matter. The main oil lobby, the American Petroleum Institute, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce also testified.

During his allotted time, Illinois Congressman Mike Quigley immediately raised the issue of climate security, saying “I serve on the House Select Committee on Intelligence and we are often briefed on climate change as a threat to our national security.” He cited the importance of recent reports on climate security from the intelligence community, the National Security Council, and the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.

On the issue of disinformation, Rep Quigley continued “The hearing today has helped document a long-standing and concerted effort to muddy the scientific waters on the threat of climate change.” Adding, “But I think the person who put all that best was Dr. Rod Schoonover. He served for a decade in the U.S. intelligence community as a senior analyst and senior scientist in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the U.S. Department of State and Director of Environment and Natural Resources [at the National Intelligence Council].”He said, and I quote, “If climate change poses a risk to national security, as the Pentagon and intelligence community again reminded us last week, shouldn’t we view climate disinformation through that lens as well?

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Implementing the Biden Administration’s Climate Executive Order – The DHS Strategic Framework For Addressing Climate Change

President Biden at the Leaders Summit on Climate – 22 April 2021

Last week, the Biden Administration released several climate security reports in accordance with the Executive Orders on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad and Planning for the Impact of Climate Change on Migration. We are publishing a series of blog posts examining each report in depth. Previously we looked at the Defense Climate Risk Analysis

On November 17, 2021, the Center for Climate and Security will hold a virtual seminar discussing these reports and where the Biden Administration goes next. RSVP for this session, Analysis to Action: Advancing Climate Security in the Biden Administration here.

The DHS Strategic Framework for Addressing Climate Change – Key Takeaways

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created nearly 20 years ago in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to, as President Bush said at the time, “defend the United States and protect our citizens against the dangers of a new era.” With the release of the DHS Strategic Framework for Addressing Climate Change last week, the Department acknowledges the United States is once again facing new dangers, now from the security threats posed by climate change. 

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