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Defense Dossier Covers Climate Change and Security

Defense Dossier Cover_Issue_23_On December 31, the American Foreign Policy Council’s excellent Defense Dossier published a timely new volume titled “Resource Security and Changing Global Environmental Conditions.” The entire volume is worth a read, covering natural resource stresses on a broad array of security issues including military readiness, water and food stress, and energy security. The volume also includes articles from four Center for Climate and Security experts, including Rachel Fleishman and Sherri Goodman who write about climate change and the U.S. military, and Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell, who address the security implications of a recent special report from the IPCC. Click here to read.

How the U.S. Military’s Not Waiting to Find Out if Climate Change is an Existential Risk

Soldiers_assist_residents_displaced_by_Hurricane_Sandy_in_Hoboken,_N.J.In case you missed it, Keith Johnson with Foreign Policy recently published an article that strikes at the heart of where the United States is in assessing and preparing for the security risks of climate change. While much of the discussion on this topic is about carefully parsing lines of causality, and waiting for certainty before raising concerns about these connections, a quote from Marc Levy in the article makes the case that this is a luxury:

“I think we’re woefully far behind…Sometimes people get accused of being overly alarmist…I think the warnings being given about the security threats from climate change are overly timid.”

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A Presidential Perspective on Climate Change and Security

SouthPorticoBy Neil Bhatiya, Climate and Diplomacy Fellow, The Center for Climate and Security

In a wide-ranging story published today in the Atlantic, correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg analyzes the Obama Administration’s foreign policy record, and the particular mix of ideas, experiences, and emotions that underpin the President’s approach to the world. Over the course of several years, Goldberg has discussed global crises with the President, from Afghanistan to Libya, Syria, and Ukraine. Among the fascinating details is an excerpt that reveals how the President tries to think of the varied threats facing the country:   (more…)

Expanding The Diplomatic Toolbox: Foreign Policy, Climate Change and Security

Panama Canal, Taken July 3, 2003, By Thomas Lamadrid

Panama Canal, Taken July 3, 2003, By Thomas Lamadrid

This is a Resilience Compass cross-post by Alexander Carius, executive director of adelphi.

How do you avoid that the urgent always takes priority over the important?

In the coming decades, we may see climate change destabilizing conflict regions, fueling new conflicts, and undermining progress on development. Climate change is thus increasingly a global threat to security. The Foreign Ministers of France and Germany co-hosted a high-level discussion on September 30 during the United Nations General Assembly on how foreign policy can address these risks. 30 Foreign Ministers and (Deputy) Prime-Ministers attended the event and debated the question “How do you avoid that the urgent always takes priority over the important?” in an era where acute crises absorb much of the attention and capacities of foreign policymakers. (more…)

G7: Climate Change, Security and Fragility as a Foreign Policy Priority

On Wednesday, at a meeting of G7 Foreign Ministers in800px-Homes_destroyed_by_Typhoon_Bopha_in_Cateel,_Davao_Oriental, Germany, “climate and security” was a major subject in a final communiqué. The G7 nations announced the need for a stronger, collaborative commitment to mitigating risks associated with climate change and state fragility. This announcement coincided with the presentation of a new report, A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks, to the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, produced by an independent consortium of think tanks, adelphiInternational Alert, the Wilson Center and the European Union Institute for Security Studies. The final communiqué states emphatically:  (more…)

New Paper: Hydro-Diplomacy: Strengthening Foreign Policy for Transboundary Waters

Indus.A2002274.0610.1kmA new paper, “The Rise of Hydro-Diplomacy: Strengthening Foreign Policy For Transboundary Waters”  was recently released at World Water Week by Climate Diplomacy, a collaborative effort of the Federal Foreign Office and Berlin-based think tank adelphi.

The paper argues that foreign policy makers can and should do more to address transboundary water governance, and that by doing so it could enhance intersecting foreign policy interests. It includes multiple detailed examples of where transbounday water governance can be improved, and highlights the role climate change will play in contributing to water stress, stating: (more…)

2012 Failed States Index: How Does Climate Factor In?

Foreign Policy and the Fund for Peace have recently released their eighth annual Failed States Index for 2012. The index scores countries across the globe on their level of stability, assessing twelve key variables: demographic pressures, refugees/IDPs, group grievance, human flight, uneven development, economic decline, delegitimization of the state, public services, human rights, security apparatus, factionalized elites and external intervention.

Though measuring “natural resource security,” including water, food and energy, might be a useful addition to this index for the future, it would still be very interesting to look at how projected climatic changes in these states, whether stable, failing, or failed, might impact each of the twelve variables, and thus effect a nation’s overall stability.

Stay tuned for more.