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By Elsa Barron
In early March, the U.S. House of Representatives hosted two hearings on climate adaptation in the United States. Given the current and future risks posed by climate change, including sea-level rise, intensifying natural disasters, and extreme temperatures, creating a plan to respond and adapt to climate change is crucial for ensuring security. The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing titled Federal Climate Adaptation and Resilience for the 21st Century and the House Committee on the Climate Crisis hearing was named Confronting Climate Impacts: Federal Strategies for Equitable Adaptation and Resilience. These hearings closely followed the release of the IPCC Working Group II (WGII) report focused on climate impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. An analysis by the Center for Climate and Security on the WGII contribution notes that, “In the near-term, vulnerability and exposure of natural and human systems to climate-related risks will depend more on the actions taken to adapt, or lack thereof, than on climate hazards themselves.” Therefore, it is critical for all sectors of government to prepare for climate security impacts and prevent them from having their worst effects.(more…)
On November 20, the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment and Cyber held a virtual hearing entitled “National Security Implications of Climate Change in the Arctic.” Witnesses providing written statements and answering questions included retired Admiral Paul Zukunft, Former Commandant of U.S. Coast Guard and an Advisory Board member with the Center for Climate and Security; Dr. Susan Natali, Arctic Program Director, Woodwell Climate Research Center; Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough, Chairperson, Inuit Circumpolar Council, and Luke Coffey, Director, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy, The Heritage Foundation.(more…)
By John Conger
On Friday, March 26, the Readiness Subcommittee of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee held a hearing on resilience, which in recent years has become synonymous with climate change adaptation. It was a remarkably substantive hearing, with senior representatives of the military services (LTG Douglas Gabram, Commander Army Installations Management Command; VADM Yancey Lindsey, Commander Navy Installations Command; MajGen Edward Banta, Commander Marine Corps Installations Command; and Brig Gen John Allen, Commander Air Force Civil Engineering Center) citing progress on a variety of fronts, listing actions at specific bases, and clearly communicating the seriousness of the resilience requirement in the face of climate change and the increasing impacts of extreme weather. It was also clear, however, that they had a very long way to go.
U.S. Congress: Bipartisan Support for Investments in Combating Climate Change at the Department of Defense
By John Conger
As the Fiscal Year 2022 budget is discussed within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), a budget that will reportedly include an increased focus on dealing with the threats that climate change poses to the Defense Department, the House Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee held a hearing on March 17 to consider the risks – and the costs – imposed by climate change. The panel witnesses were Sherri Goodman, Chair of the Council on Strategic Risks, Senior Strategist and Advisory Board Member of the Center for Climate and Security (CCS) and Secretary General of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS); and Vice Admiral (ret) Dennis McGinn, Member of the CCS Advisory Board.(more…)