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Center for Climate and Security Fellows Selected for Key Positions in the Biden Administration

The Center for Climate and Security (CCS) would like to congratulate its Senior Research Fellows Kate Guy and Dr. Josh Busby for their appointments in the Biden Administration. Ms. Guy will serve as Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of State, within the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. Her role with the Administration will focus on confronting growing global climate and environmental security challenges. This summer, Dr. Busby began a year-long appointment as senior advisor for climate in the U.S. Department of Defense, where he is involved in the Biden administration’s prioritization of climate change, including the National Defense Strategy.  

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Climate Security and the U.S.-Russia Summit

Bilateral meeting Putin-Biden, March 10, 2011

By Steve Brock and Roger Ullman

When Presidents Biden and Putin meet today on the shores of Lake Geneva they won’t be short of contentious topics to discuss. With the bilateral relationship at its lowest point since the Cold War, many have pointed to cooperation on climate change as rare common ground worth exploring in a meeting that will be dominated by multiple areas of serious disagreement.  The emergence of climate as an unlikely bridge is largely based on Putin’s surprising participation and cooperative tone at President Biden’s April Leaders Summit on Climate. Over the weekend, Putin told Russian State TV that there were “issues where we can work together” with the United States, including climate change. Posturing aside, a frank discussion about the importance of addressing climate change merits a place on their crowded agenda given the urgency of the global security implications outlined in the recent World Climate and Security Report 2021 from the Expert Group of the International Military Council on Climate and Security. Establishing discourse on climate security can serve both sides’ summit objective to find paths of de-escalation in a relationship that’s precariously close to rock bottom. To the world, it would also signal that even adversaries locked in bitter, wide-ranging disputes can recognize there is no longer time to waste in finding ways to come together to meet a global existential threat. 

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Climate Security: A Tale of Two Defense Hearings

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An aerial view of Offutt Air Force Base affected by major flood waters March 17, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt. Rachelle Blake)


By John Conger

Sometimes you want to hear from the very top, and sometimes you want to get into the details.  In the last couple of weeks, the U.S. Congress has done both, and each one teaches us something important about the way the Department of Defense (DoD) is planning to deal with climate change early in this Administration.

The first hearing described below included the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, covering a broad range of issues and setting the stage for the President’s budget release, which included      climate change as a priority.  The second addresses military infrastructure, which has been one of the key facets of the broader climate security portfolio within DoD.  It is the part of the climate challenge that has imposed the largest direct cost on DoD so far, and countering it also involves significant investment.  The second hearing gets into the details of this part of the portfolio.

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Initial Reactions to the Biden Budget: Takes Systemic Security Risks Seriously, But More Is Needed

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Perhaps more than any executive branch budget submission in history, the first budget released by the Biden administration today takes the gravity of transnational, systemic security risks seriously and begins significant investments in addressing them. Yet there will be more work to do past the Fiscal Year 2022 budget in order to ensure that federal government resources are commensurate to these threats. Here are initial reactions to the budget by several CSR experts in these issues.

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