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On the Record: Climate as a Security Risk According to U.S. Administration Officials

James_Mattis_Official_SECDEF_PhotoUnder 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…)

New Research: Food Riots, Governance and Climate Change

Protesters marching in Cairo, "Bread, Freedom, Social Justice By, Mariam Soliman from Cairo, Egypt

Protesters marching in Cairo, “Bread, Freedom, Social Justice By, Mariam Soliman from Cairo, Egypt

This is a cross-post from New Security Beat by Cullen Hendrix

*We draw special attention to the conclusion of the article (emphasis added):

Our research suggests that reducing urban biases, like food subsidies, may be good pro-poor policy, given the continued concentration of poverty in the countryside, but it carries political risks. Thus, developing country governments face a tradeoff in pursuing two separate but linked definitions of food security: food security as a component of human security, where pro-poor policies may be the best answer, and food security as a component of national security, where urban interests seem the most pressing.

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Center for Climate & Security Advisory Board Members on the National Security Strategy

SouthPorticoAdvisory Board members and staff of the Center for Climate and Security react to climate change listed as a “top strategic risk” in the Obama Administration’s National Security Strategy: (more…)

New Topic Guide: Conflict, Climate and Environment

Bushfire_AustraliaEvidence 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…)

U.S.-China Climate Agreement: Implications for National Security?

"Friendship and Cooperation Through Music." Collaboration between musicians from the US and Chinese Armies.

“Friendship and Cooperation Through Music.” Collaboration between musicians from the US and Chinese Armies.

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.

Call for Papers: “Climate Change and National Security: A Geospatial Perspective”

PaperBelow is information for a call for papers on “Climate Change & National Security: A Geospatial Perspective” from the PE&RS Journal. More information can be found here. (Please note this is a preliminary call for papers. The official call for papers will be out shortly).  (more…)

On the Record: Climate Change as a National Security Risk According to U.S. Administration Officials

Obama_Bush_and_ClintonUnder 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…)