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The Climate and Security Podcast: Episode 14 with Dr. Nicolas Regaud

Dr Nicolas Regaud_Climate and Security Podcast_May 15 2019Welcome back to The Climate and Security Podcast!

In this episode, host Dr. Sweta Chakraborty talks to Dr. Nicolas Regaud, Special Representative to the Indo-Pacific of the Director General for International Relations and Strategy at the French Ministry of Armed Forces, and Participant in the International Military Council on Climate and Security. Nicolas explains the French point of view on the importance of acting efficiently on climate change, given that there are French nationals and territories all over the world and in areas especially vulnerable to the impacts of a warming planet. The French military plays a critical role in safeguarding its global citizens, neighbors and critical infrastructure against the impacts of climate change; as well as in providing maritime security in close partnership with regional allies. Listen to this episode to learn more about French defense activities globally and in the key warming-affected region of the Indo-Pacific. (more…)

Climate and Security in the Caribbean: A Roadmap to Resilience

Oliver speaking 2

The Center for Climate and Security’s Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barret, U.S. Navy (Ret) delivers the keynote address at the CDEMA conference: “Climate and Security in the Caribbean Region: A Roadmap to Resilience.”

On December 13, a Caribbean regional consultation hosted by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) was held in Aruba. The conference, titled “Climate and Security in the Caribbean Region: A Roadmap to Resilience,” brought together experts, practitioners and policymakers to discuss climate change and its effect on security across the Caribbean region. The Center for Climate and Security (CCS), the US consortium partner of the Planetary Security Initiative (PSI) that co-organized the event along with The Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Aruba Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, the Clingendael Institute and the Planetary Security Initiative (PSI), supported the event. (more…)

2017 Hurricanes: Military Increasingly Getting Its Feet Wet

Loading Water Navy (Puerto Rico)

Sailors load water near San Juan, Puerto Rico, as humanitarian relief following Hurricane Maria. Navy photo, Petty Officer 3rd Class Danny Ray Nunez Jr.

By Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett, United States Navy (Retired), Senior Research Fellow

Admiral Keating, Commander of U.S. Northern Command from 2004 to 2007, remarked that “The energy Katrina released was the equivalent of 1,000 Hiroshima explosions.” In responding to the aftermath of the hurricane, U.S. Northern Command units – in conjunction with the National Guard – providing tens of thousands of military personnel, search and rescue resources, and humanitarian supplies.

Though the combined destructive energy and impact of the 2017 Hurricane triumvirate, Harvey, Irma and Maria, have yet to be conclusively framed and assessed, it’s worthwhile even now to look at some of the ways that the military is increasingly being drawn into the kinds of battles that can’t be won with weaponry. Such conversations are especially relevant since the military (particularly, Combatant Commands, their components, and National Guard units) is increasingly being called upon to significantly augment civil emergency agencies after big storms events. (more…)

President Obama’s Visit to Jamaica: Doubling Down on Climate Security Collaboration

Military Sealift Command personnel aboard the joint high speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) assist with small boat operations in the Caribbean Sea Aug. 24, 2014, during Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2014. SPS is an annual deployment of U.S. ships to the U.S. Southern Command's area of responsibility in the Caribbean and Latin America. The exercise involves information sharing with navies, coast guards and civilian services throughout the region.

Military Sealift Command personnel aboard the joint high speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) assist with small boat operations in the Caribbean Sea Aug. 24, 2014, during Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2014.

By Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett, United States Navy (Retired)
Senior Research Fellow, The Center for Climate and Security

President Obama will be making a short but historic trip to Kingston, Jamaica on the eve of the Summit of the Americas to be held in Panama (April 10–11). During his visit, Obama will meet with the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for discussions on regional security and trade. This presents an opportunity for leaders to discuss how the American-Caribbean strategic cooperation framework can be broadened to incorporate non-traditional security matters, such as climate change. (more…)

Top Climate Security Implications for Latin America: A Regional Breakdown

Severe flooding is one of many devastating effects of climate change, as the Caribbean island nation Dominica experienced in 2011. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

Severe flooding is one of many devastating effects of
climate change, as the Caribbean island nation Dominica experienced in
2011. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

By Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett, U.S. Navy (ret) Senior Research Fellow, The Center for Climate and Security

From December 1-12, world leaders are meeting in Lima, Peru to lay the groundwork for a global agreement on climate change. But aside from being a setting for this round of international climate talks, the Latin American region is facing significant security and development threats from climate change that are not often reported.

Climate change is a stressor that will compound, and already is compounding, vexing preexisting developmental challenges across the regions’ states – testing governments to the limits of their capacities and affecting populations in diverse ways. While this “stressor” is becoming better appreciated by development stakeholders, a dimension that is not as well-appreciated is the impact climatic and environmental shifts will have on states’ security in general, and on the operations of regional militaries more specifically. Below is a sub-regional breakdown – a sort of “get to the point” compilation – of the implications of climate change on this growing, dynamic and increasingly relevant region of the globe. The compilation draws from and builds on a joint military assessment I contributed to as a consultant for U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). The geographic categories below reflect a structure commonly used in the U.S defense sector. (more…)