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Under both Republican and Democratic Administrations, senior U.S. military, national security and foreign policy leaders have recognized the security risks of climate change, and urged a response that is commensurate to the threat. In this context, The Center for Climate and Security has created a new page, On The Record, on its Climate Security 101 Project website compiling key statements on the issue from current and past military, national security and foreign policy leaders. This is not a complete list, but it is a good reminder that climate change is far more than just an environmental concern. (more…)
Evidence on Demand has created a new topic guide, “Conflict, Climate and Environment,” by Katie Peters and Janani Vivekananda. Below is an overview of the guide and a list of the key messages. The guide provides an extensive overview of climate and conflict linkages, including knowledge gaps and suggestions for effective and sensitive policy-making. A PDF of the guide can be found on the Evidence on Demand website and is well worth a read. (more…)
The United States and China concluded a joint climate agreement yesterday. While the effect of this agreement on the rate and scale of climate change is potentially significant, it may also serve a broader geopolitical benefit as the United States gradually “rebalances” its foreign and security policy to the Asia-Pacific region, and pursues other national security interests in forums such as the UN Security Council.
Enduring tensions between China and the United States (and its allied and partner nations) over the South China Sea, as well as a broad range of other difficult dynamics in the relationship (e.g. cyber warfare, U.S. concerns over a growing and more assertive Chinese military, human rights, consistent disagreement at the UN Security Council, and competing proposals for free trade zones in the region, one that excludes China and the other that’s China-led), are likely to continue for some time to come. However, an agreement of this kind can spill over into other areas of the relationship, thereby broadening the aperture for U.S. cooperation (and competition) with China on a range of issues of core concern to U.S. national security.
In other words, this is not just a climate agreement. It’s also a trust-building exercise that may offer the United States a greater amount of freedom and flexibility in pursuing the national security goals of the US and its allied and partner nations.
On the Record: Climate Change as a National Security Risk According to U.S. Administration Officials
Under both Republican and Democratic Administrations, leaders in the U.S. foreign policy and national security establishment have recognized the security risks of climate change, and have become increasingly active in arguing for a response commensurate to the threat. Below is a sampling of statements, and actions, regarding the security risks of climate change, by some of our current and past foreign policy and national security leaders. This is by no means a complete list, but it is a good reminder that climate change is far more than an environmental concern. See Jill Fitzsimmons’ post from 2012 for more. (more…)