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Newly appointed Secretary of State John Kerry has a long and distinguished history of working at the intersection of national security and climate change. As such, the overlap in these areas of expertise will likely be a particularly important part of his tenure. (For a good overview of why Kerry should address the security risks of climate change see this recent article by Coral Davenport). (more…)
The Pakistani government’s Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) convened a seminar last Monday which reportedly ended in unanimous agreement that “climate change has become a national security threat.” The session was chaired by Pakistani Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence, who affirmed that the “Senate Standing Committee on Defence would include climate change as a threat in [the forthcoming] National Security Strategy.” The conference focused on the role of climate change in exacerbating water security issues, including flooding and scarcity (with water high on the “dispute” list with India), particularly given that roughly “60 percent of [Pakistan’s] water comes from glacial melt.” A speaker at the event also highlighted the contribution armed forces of both India and Pakistan are making to the melting of Siachen glacier in Kashmir, echoing warnings from the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke.