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EVENT: Climate Security at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

This is a cross-post from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Join us for a conversation about the connections between climate change and security.

About this Event

Climate change is impacting and exacerbating risks to security at home and abroad. Lisa Friedman (The New York Times) will moderate a conversation with Erin Sikorsky (The Center for Climate and Security) and Swathi Veeravalli (U.S. Africa Command) about how different parts of the security community are thinking about climate risks, what implications these risks hold for policy and planning, and where there are capacity gaps or aspects of climate security that need more research.

The conversation will be webcast on this webpage on Thursday, July 15, 2021 from 3-4 pm ET. Closed captioning will be provided.

Climate Conversations: Pathways to Action is a monthly webinar series from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that aims to convene high-level, cross-cutting, nonpartisan conversations about issues relevant to national policy action on climate change.

Participant Bios

Erin Sikorsky is the Deputy Director of the Center for Climate and Security, and the Director of the International Military Council on Climate and Security. Previously, she served as the Deputy Director of the Strategic Futures Group on the National Intelligence Council in the U.S., where she co-authored the quadrennial Global Trends report and led the U.S. intelligence community’s environmental and climate security analysis. She is also the founding chair of the Climate Security Advisory Council, a Congressionally mandated group designed to facilitate coordination between the intelligence community and U.S. government scientific agencies.

Swathi Veeravalli is a Foreign Affairs Specialist at United States Africa Command. Her background is in interdisciplinary research science with expertise in developing capabilities to assess how compound climate-fragility risks threaten both U.S. and global security.

Lisa Friedman is a reporter on the New York Times climate desk, focusing on climate and environmental policy in Washington D.C. She has covered nine international climate talks and chased climate-related stories from the bottom of a Chinese coal mine to the top of snow-capped Himalaya Mountains.

Contact

Alex Reich

areich@nas.edu

RESPONSIBLE STAFF OFFICERS

  • Alex Reich  
  • Amanda Purcell  

ADDITIONAL PROJECT STAFF

  • Holly Rhodes  
  • Rob Greenway  

RELEASE: Landmark Report from Security Experts Identifies Ecological Disruption as the 21st Century’s Most Underappreciated Security Threat

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Washington DC, February 9, 2021 – The Converging Risks Lab of the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) released a landmark report today, The Security Threat That Binds Us, that identifies ecological disruption as a major and underappreciated security threat and calls on the United States to reboot its national security architecture and doctrine to better respond to this evolving threat landscape. Ongoing stresses to critical Earth systems, including to water, food, wildlife, forests and fisheries, heightens the risks of future pandemics, conflict, political instability, loss of social cohesion, economic harm, and other security outcomes.

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The Importance of Climate and Health Security: Sherri Goodman on the ‘Things That Go Boom’ Podcast

By Mackenzie Allen 

Leading health experts have warned about the possibility of a pandemic like COVID-19 for many years. Yet as a nation, the United States was disastrously unprepared. In part, this may be due to health security having been largely disregarded as a critical aspect of national security. This pandemic has exposed the folly of that, making a stark case for the need to rethink national security, and reorient society towards building resilience to nontraditional threats. 

This was the topic of the Things That Go Boom podcast released in late August featuring Sherri Goodman, Senior Strategist at the Center for Climate and Security, Chair of the Board at the Council on Strategic Risks, and former U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security). Goodman explains that climate change is among the most serious threats that we face today, and that adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change has “to be a key part of everything we do… it can’t just be an add-on”. This is consistent with the comprehensive “climate-proofing security institutions” recommendation of the Center for Climate and Security’s Responsibility to Prepare and Prevent framework, of which Goodman was a co-author.

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BRIEFER: Brazil – A Climate, Nuclear, and Security Hotspot

By Andrea Rezzonico and Meggen Watt Petersen

Excerpt: This briefer, part of CSR’s series on hotspots experiencing unique combinations of climate, nuclear, and security challenges, examines Brazil’s nuclear developments, environmental challenges, climate change impacts, and socioeconomic landscape. The magnitude of Brazil’s geographic footprint, natural resources, and population helps define the nation as a global power. Yet a growing sense of agitation is rooted alongside the strengths: its pushback against global climate goals; a general public disconcerted by government corruption and increasingly authoritarian actions; a gnawing dissatisfaction with the handling of the pandemic; and a bold assertiveness to prioritize an expensive, indigenous nuclear-powered attack submarine while overlooking what are regarded as perhaps more pressing humanitarian needs. While the country is attempting to manage a multi-layered crisis, it could eventually sink beneath the convergences of these issues and become an alarming case study in what might occur if current institutions are not bolstered to address its growing security threats.

Read the full briefer here.

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