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The Responsibility to Prepare and Prevent: The Urgent Need For a Climate-Security Governance Architecture
This article was first published on AsiaGlobal Online (April 29, 2020)
Today’s international security and governance architecture was born of the post-World War II period, when a conflict-weary world sought to prevent another clash of nation-state alliances drawn into battle by the expansionist actions of a few. Yet many modern security challenges do not fit neatly into postwar constructs, argues Rachel Fleishman of the Center for Climate and Security. Pandemics, mass migration and environmental degradation – and, most prominently, climate change – defy national borders and the world must prepare for concerted, coordinated action to prevent predictable cross-border threats.
By John Conger
During a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 12, Admiral Philip Davidson, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), affirmed the threat climate change poses to his Area of Responsibility, becoming the 21st senior military official to raise concerns about climate risks during the current Administration (see here for a list from November, and here for statements from Admiral Moran and General Neller in December).
During questioning, Admiral Davidson confirmed that he agreed with the intelligence community’s assessment of the climate change threat, as articulated in the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment published by the Director for National Intelligence (NOTE: climate change has been identified as a security threat in each of the last ten such assessments). (more…)
What: “Security & Climate Change in the Pacific: From Asia to the United States,” panel discussion followed by audience Q&A
Who: IISS-Americas and the Center for Climate and Security
When: November 28, 10:00-11:30am ET
Where: 2121 K Street NW, Suite 801, Washington, DC
RSVP: Click here.
Summary: Since the George H.W. Bush administration, the US security community has recognized the national security threats of climate change. These high-probability, high-impact threats have remained a priority area for action within Congress and the Department of Defense. The Asia-Pacific region is acutely vulnerable to the security impacts of climate change. A range of underlying security fragilities and geostrategic tensions will be shaped by increasingly frequent and severe disasters, impacts to coastal infrastructure and populations, sea level rise altering maritime boundary delimitations, greater food insecurity, and irregular migration flows. This discussion, featuring high-level experts from the Center for Climate and Security, will explore these risks, how US military installations, operations, and strategies in the region may be shaped by them, and their influence on US bilateral and multilateral relationships.
RELEASE: Bipartisan Group of Military, Political and City Leaders Gather in Seattle to Talk Climate Change and Security
Event brings US and Asia-Pacific perspective on building U.S. military and community resilience to climate change
Seattle, WA – Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee Congressman Adam Smith, military experts who served in both Republican and Democratic administrations, and community leaders from the Seattle area are gathering to discuss existing and future national security risks from climate change, and outline opportunities for Asia-Pacific cooperation on the issue at a roundtable on Monday, October 30 from 1-5pm PDT (livestreamed here). The Center for Climate and Security, in partnership with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, 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.
Military Leaders Applaud Defense Secretary Hagel’s Attention to Climate Change at ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting
Washington, D.C. — The Center for Climate and Security (CCS), a policy institute with an Advisory Board of retired senior military officers and national security experts, applauds U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s attention to the security and humanitarian risks posed by climate change at the ASEAN defense ministers meeting in Hawaii today. The United States is a Pacific nation, and it is critical that our military prepare for the security risks and opportunities climate change will present – especially in light of the U.S. Asia-Pacific “rebalance.” (more…)
Room for Climate Diplomacy: Secretary Clinton’s Trip to Asia and the Future of U.S. Engagement in the Region
A recent New York Times article covering Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s current diplomatic travels in Asia focused on her efforts to ramp up trade with the region. This move is seen by some analysts as the softer side of the Obama administration’s so-called “pacific pivot” or “rebound,” where the spotlight has until now shone primarily on plans to expand the U.S. military presence in the region. (more…)