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On Friday, the New Security Beat posted a great blog and podcast featuring comments by Alice Hill, the senior director for resilience policy at the U.S. National Security Council (NSC), which were delivered at the launch event of the G7-commissioned report “A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks.” Alice Hill details the process by which the U.S. government, including the Department of Homeland Security, has integrated climate change risks into its plans and programs. She identifies key developments in policy, but also critical gaps in implementation – including gaps in expertise on how to limit the fragility risks of climate change in unstable nations.
A blog on the subject, as well as the full podcast, can be found here.
The US House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, held a hearing on July 8th to examine the Department of Homeland Security’s focus on climate change. While the hearing did include the usual political cleavages and posturing, it provided a useful opportunity to discuss the risk management approach of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including as it relates to climate change. Perhaps lost in the chatter was that the hearing marked an important step towards better assessing where we are both as a nation, and within various departments and agencies across the U.S. government. The hearing testimonies also touched on where the U.S. needs to be in order to avoid damage to critical infrastructure, loss of life, and stresses to national security. Indeed, there seemed to be broad agreement among all witnesses that climate change poses very real security risks to the U.S. homeland. (more…)
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, is leading efforts to build resilience to the risks of climate change in the United States. According to Caitlin Durkovich, assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at the department:
Increasingly, we’ve moved not only from a security focus to a resiliency focus.
This may be news to some who are used to seeing DHS reports on terrorism and other more traditional domestic security issues, but the department’s focus on preparing for climate risks is years in the making (see, for example, all climate-related Homeland Security documents here on our Climate Security Resource Hub). (more…)
The Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR) was released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on June 18, and it takes a hard look at the security risks of a changing climate.
Most significantly, climate change appears in the QHSR’s section on “Prevailing Challenges that Pose the Most Strategically Significant Risk” on page 28. In that context, “natural hazards…with increasingly variable consequences due in part to drivers such as climate change and interdependent and aging infrastructure” (more…)
Last Friday, President Obama issued an Executive Order (EO) titled “Preparing the United States for the Impact of Climate Change.” As the name of the EO implies, it is focused on preparing for and adapting to the current and imminent effects of climate change, rather than reducing emissions. In that sense, it is a welcome complement to the President’s Climate Action Plan issued this past June, whose primary emphasis was CO2 reductions. (more…)
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, gave farewell remarks today, as she steps down to assume her new role as president of the University of California multi-school system.
A section of her remarks took the form of an open letter to her successor, where she laid out the challenges and opportunities that the next Secretary will likely face. Part of that open letter included an emphasis on the risks of climate change. (more…)
Janet Napolitano, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009-2013, has just stepped down to assume the presidency of the University of California multi-school system. During her tenure as Secretary, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advanced attention to the real security risks of a changing climate. As she stated last summer: (more…)