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UPDATE: Chronology of U.S. Military Statements and Actions on Climate Change and Security: Jan 2017- Oct 2019

The_Pentagon

Since January 2017, at least thirty-five senior officials at the U.S. Defense Department (DoD) have publicly raised concerns about, and recommended actions to address, the security implications of climate change, both due to its effect on military infrastructure, readiness and operations, and its broader geostrategic implications for the United States. (more…)

Hearing: 4 Defense and Service Assistant Secretaries Highlight Climate Change Risks to the Military

Assistant Secretary McMahon

The Honorable Robert H. McMahon, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, October 16, 2019

By Marc Kodack

On October 16, 2019, the House Armed Services’ Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities and the Subcommittee on Readiness held a joint hearing on “Resiliency of Military Installations to Emerging Threats.” Witnesses providing statements and answering questions included the HON Robert McMahon, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment; the HON John Henderson, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy; the HON Alex Beehler, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment; and the HON Lucian Niemeyer, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment. All highlighted climate change-related risks and/or its effects to their respective military installations in both their written statements and answers to multiple Member’s questions during the hearing. (more…)

Climate and National Security on MSNBC with CCS Director John Conger

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Center for Climate and Security Director John Conger on MSNBC, September 16, 2019

The Hon. John Conger, Director of the Center for Climate and Security and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment, appeared on MSNBC‘s Velshi and Ruhle show today, to discuss climate change impacts on the U.S. military, the geostrategic landscape (especially in terms of China and Russia’s activities in the Arctic), and migration and political instability. The interview was part of MSNBC’s week of climate change coverage, with Monday focusing on climate change and national security.

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UPDATE: Chronology of U.S. Military Statements and Actions on Climate Change and Security: Jan 2017- August 2019

The_Pentagon

Since January 2017, at least thirty-two senior officials at the U.S. Defense Department (DoD) have publicly raised concerns about, and recommended actions to address, the security implications of climate change, both due to its effect on military infrastructure, readiness and operations, and its broader geostrategic implications for the United States. (more…)

Sherri Goodman Talks “Threat Multiplier” on Yale Climate Connections

SherriGoodman2018

Why does the Department of Defense call climate change a threat multiplier? Last week, Yale Climate Connections sat down with Sherri Goodman, Senior Strategist at the Center for Climate and Security and former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security) to find out more. She explains, “Extreme weather and water shortages increase the risk of political instability and terrorism.” As a threat multiplier, climate change aggravates other stressors that together can threaten a nation’s stability. (more…)

Top 10 Most Climate-Vulnerable Military Bases According to U.S. Armed Forces

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Offutt Air Force Base flooded on March 17, 2019, caused by increase in water levels of surrounding waterways due to record-setting snowfall in winter & large drop in air pressure (U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt. Rachelle Blake)

By John Conger

In 2017, the U.S. Congress directed the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a list of the installations in each military service that were most vulnerable to climate change.  They gave DoD a year to do this work, as it wasn’t simple.  The DoD would need to look across its enterprise, and determine how it would measure vulnerability and assess which risks were specifically from climate change.  At the Center for Climate and Security, we published a briefer on the factors they might consider. (more…)

3 Pentagon Strategy Documents in 3 Months Highlight Climate Change Risks

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Senior-ranking military members discuss current humanitarian assistance operations at a senior leaders seminar at Sattahip Naval Base in Chonburi Province, Thailand Feb. 14, 2017.

From April to June of this year, the U.S. military has issued not one, but three strategy documents that highlight climate change risks to the U.S. military mission. These include:

June 6: Department of Defense Arctic Strategy, U.S. Department of Defense

June 1: The Department of Defense Indo-Pacific Strategy Report: Preparedness, Partnerships and Promoting a Networked Region, U.S. Department of Defense

April 22: United States Coast Guard: Arctic Strategic Outlook, Commandant of the United States Coast Guard

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