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“How is Canada preparing to address the environmental impacts on security?” That was the question debated in a packed auditorium at the Canadian Forces College (CFC) on 12 February, 2020. The “Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear” Symposium hosted by the Canadian Forces College (Toronto, Canada) was organized by the College’s Department of Innovative Studies and aimed to sensitize participating students, both Canadian and international (to include audiences tuning in from the United Nations, and the Baltic Defence College) on the security implications of climate change. The expert opinions provided by both Canadian and American national security advisors and analysts, to include Center for Climate and Security Fellows Captain Steve Brock and Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett (both US Navy, retired), helped to frame, and imbue an enhanced understanding of, how Canada’s national and human security imperatives fit into the climate change discourse. (more…)
In a new report released by the Council of Canadian Academies’ Expert Panel on Climate Change Risks and Adaptation Potential (with the refreshingly prosaic title “Canada’s Top Climate Change Risks,”) the authors highlight twelve major climate change risks affecting Canada. While all twelve of the identified risks have a relationship with Canada’s national security in one form or another, two stand out in that context: Geopolitical Dynamics and Physical Infrastructure. From Table 2.1. on Page 11 of the report: (more…)
The Canadian Government’s Global Affairs Canada (a department that includes the country’s foreign affairs, trade and development ministers), held a conference yesterday on “Climate Change and Security: Fragile States.” The conference included a presentation by the Center for Climate & Security’s Senior Fellow for International Affairs, Shiloh Fetzek, as well an address by the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stéphane Dion (see below). See Minister Dion’s full remarks here. This address and conference, explicitly focused on the links between climate change and state fragility, follows on the heels of a recent bi-lateral agreement between the United States and Canada to expand cooperation on matters of climate and security.
For a nuanced look at climate and security as it relates to the Arctic and Canada, also see this interview with Dr. Chad Briggs produced by adelphi. (more…)
President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau issued a U.S.-Canada Joint Statement on Climate, Energy, and Arctic Leadership today. The statement clearly recognizes the links between climate change, state fragility, and national security. The leaders both agreed to continue to cooperate internationally to address these challenges throughout their defense, diplomacy and development policies and specifically through the G7. Importantly, this bi-lateral agreement reinforces the multi-lateral commitment at the G7 to more deeply address the intersection of climate change and state fragility. The text from the agreement reads: (more…)
The American Security Project (ASP) has just released an updated version of its Global Security Defense Index on Climate Change, which examines how national security establishments across the globe view (and address) climate change. The update hones in on a handful of specific countries, including Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Guyana, India, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. Here is a description of the index, and update ,from the ASP website: (more…)
Extreme weather events are making headlines around the world. ReliefWeb’s global disaster map shows over 2,000 ongoing disaster events. Not showed on the map is the political fallout that often plagues governments that inadequately prepare for, or respond to, these disasters. Though such political consequences are nothing new (see here for more on “disaster politics”), as extreme weather events increase in frequency and intensity, it is quite possible that political volatility could also increase in frequency and intensity. Below is a sampling from around the world of governments currently dancing with disasters. (more…)
Secretary Clinton is touring the Arctic Circle, signalling how important this region is becoming to the United States as ice melts, and sea lanes open up. Commenting on her visit, she stated: “many of the predictions about warming in the Arctic are being surpassed by the actual data.” “That was not necessarily surprising but sobering…” (more…)