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From the West Coast to Asia: Climate Risk, the U.S. Military, and the Asia-Pacific Region

San Diego_7553By Shiloh Fetzek, Senior Fellow for International Affairs

The Center for Climate and Security recently held a one-day event in San Diego to discuss climate change and security issues as they affect the Pacific coast. Pacific-facing military installations and communities confront a unique set of climate risks and resilience issues. Geostrategic dynamics around expanding US defense posture in the Asia-Pacific also have implications for local planning and infrastructure (e.g. housing and transportation). The missions which these installations support may be influenced by climate-related factors, including fragility risk and demand for humanitarian assistance and disaster response in the Asia-Pacific. At the same time, climate stressors in the Southwest such as drought, wildfires, storms and sea level rise impact area installations and have a bearing on military readiness and operational capabilities. (more…)

RELEASE: Bipartisan Military, Political & City Leaders Talk Climate Security in San Diego

LCACs storm Camp Pendleton beach

U.S. Navy Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class Dakota Griffin,  Camp Pendleton Calif., Composite Training Unit Exercise, March 27, 2015

RELEASE: Bipartisan Military, Political and City Leaders Talk Climate Change Risks and Opportunities in San Diego

Event brings US and Asia-Pacific perspective on building U.S. military and community resilience to climate change

San Diego, CA – Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Democratic Congressman Scott Peters, military experts who served in both Republican and Democratic administrations, and community leaders from the San Diego area, are gathering at the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park in San Diego to discuss existing and future national security risks from climate change, and outline opportunities for Asia-Pacific cooperation on the issue at a daylong summit on Tuesday, February 21. The Center for Climate and Security, with support from The San Diego Foundation and the Skoll Global Threats Fund, are hosting the forum to inform policy responses to climate risks that will benefit both military and civilian communities, at home and in the broader Asia-Pacific region. (more…)

Event: Security & Climate: Issues and Perspectives for the Pacific Coast

US Army Blackhawk Wildfire California

California Army National Guard conducts helicopter bucket training at Irvine Lake,  to prepare for wildfire season

The Center for Climate and Security, with support from The San Diego Foundation and the Skoll Global Threats Fund, is hosting a high-level event ‘Security & Climate Change: Issues and Perspectives for the Pacific Coast’ in San Diego, California on Tuesday, February 21. Confirmed speakers include: San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R), Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA), Rear Admiral Yancy B. Lindsey, Commander, Navy Region Southwest, General Ron Keys, U.S. Air Force (ret), Ambassador Reno Harnish, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The full agenda is below.

The US is a Pacific nation. The Asia-Pacific is one of the most disaster prone and climate vulnerable regions of world with a rapidly-growing population. It’s the most militarized part of the globe, and home to both rising powers and failed states – including states with nuclear capabilities. And it’s also home to some of the U.S.’s closest allies. The US military hosts numerous coastal installations across the region (including on the West Coast of the U.S.), and the U.S. is slowly but surely “rebalancing” towards this critical region. Considering this reality, addressing climate change risks in the Asia-Pacific should be a key element of U.S. national security and foreign policy, not least as that response presents significant opportunities for the United States, both at home and abroad. We are at a critical moment in time when we must decide whether or not we will lead in addressing the most pressing challenges of the 21st century. This conference aims to start answering that question. (more…)

Secretary of Defense Carter: the “growing strategic impact of climate change”

ash_carter_dod_secretary_portraitU.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter made a recent statement at the Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore, calling for a “principled security network” for the Asia-Pacific region – one that could collectively address the region’s myriad security challenges – including “the growing strategic impact of climate change.” Rather than ranking threats against each other, which tends to miss the integrated nature of the security landscape, Secretary Carter places climate change within the broader context of a range of pressing security threats and opportunities facing the region, that will be best addressed through a cooperative approach: (more…)

The Strategist: Combating climate change in the Asia–Pacific: lessons from the Marshall Plan

USAsiaPacifcRebalanceImageIn light of President Obama’s visit to Asia this week, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s The Strategist published an article yesterday by the Center for Climate and Security’s Caitlin Werrell and Francesco Femia titled “Combatting climate change in the Asia–Pacific: lessons from the Marshall Plan.” It is a shorter version of a piece published in our “U.S. Asia-Pacific Rebalance, National Security and Climate Change” report, which includes a foreword by former Commander of U.S. Pacific Command,  Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, USN (ret).

Admiral Sam J. Locklear Joins the Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board

UntitledThe Center for Climate and Security is honored to welcome Admiral Sam J. Locklear, United States Navy (Retired), to its distinguished Advisory Board of senior military, national security and foreign policy experts. Admiral Locklear recently retired from the US Navy after serving with distinction for over 39 years, including 15 years of service as a Flag Officer. During his significant tenure as a four star, Admiral Locklear lead at the highest levels serving as Commander U.S. Pacific Command, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, and Commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command.

As Commander U.S. Pacific Command, the United States’ oldest and largest geographic unified combatant command, he commanded all U.S. military forces operating across more than half the globe. He accurately assessed the rapidly changing geopolitical environment of the Indo-Asia-Pacific, the most militarized area of the world, made significant advancements in how U.S. forces are postured for crisis or contingency, and was instrumental in addressing the growing global cyber challenges in the region. A key architect of America’s rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, Admiral Locklear provided the vision, strategic framework, and detailed planning that began the rebalance of U.S. military influence to the Asia-Pacific. He skillfully managed the US military relationships with our five Pacific treaty allies, numerous key security partners, and emerging multilateral security forums. Additionally, he maintained a pragmatic but lasting relationship with China’s military and made significant progress in developing a deeper strategic security relationship with India. (more…)

Photos and Videos: The U.S. Asia-Pacific Rebalance, National Security and Climate Change

Ellen Laipson, Sherri Goodman, Samuel Locklear, Eric Schwartz - "Schuyler Null/Wilson Center."

Ellen Laipson, Hon. Sherri Goodman, Admiral (ret) Samuel Locklear III, Eric Schwartz – “Schuyler Null/Wilson Center.”

On November 17, the Center for Climate and Security released its new report, “The U.S. Asia- Pacific Rebalance, National Security and Climate Change,” in partnership with the Center for New American Security, the University of Oxford and the Carnegie Mellon University Civil and Environmental Engineering Program.

The release was accompanied by a thought-provoking panel discussion between senior leaders in the national security, defense and diplomatic communities, including Admiral Samuel Locklear III, USN (Ret.), Former Commander of U.S. Pacific Command; Sherri Goodman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership; Former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Environmental Security); Eric Schwartz, Dean, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota; Former Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration; and Ellen Laipson, Distinguished Fellow and President Emeritus, Henry L. Stimson Center; Former Vice Chair of the National Intelligence Council; (more…)