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State Department Ignores Climate Change in the Indo-Pacific Region

Indo-Pacific State DepartmentBy Marc Kodack

The U.S. State Department recently published an “implementation update” of its Indo-Pacific strategy, titled “A Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Advancing a Shared Vision.” It provides a summary of the State Department’s initiatives over the last two years – namely its’ “diplomatic, economic, governance and security” actions to implement a whole-of-government strategy in the region. Ideally, it should complement the Department of Defense’s Indo-Pacific Strategy Report. While the Pentagon report mentions climate change as a “transnational challenge” within its report, the State Department document includes no mention of climate change, despite severe consequences for the region, including as it relates to transboundary water issues, such as the Mekong River, which are creating tensions among multiple countries that share a river system. (more…)

3 Pentagon Strategy Documents in 3 Months Highlight Climate Change Risks

Senior_military_leaders_discuss_humanitarian_operations_during_Cobra_Gold_170214-M-SQ436-2071

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

(more…)

The Climate and Security Podcast: Episode 14 with Dr. Nicolas Regaud

Dr Nicolas Regaud_Climate and Security Podcast_May 15 2019Welcome back to The Climate and Security Podcast!

In this episode, host Dr. Sweta Chakraborty talks to Dr. Nicolas Regaud, Special Representative to the Indo-Pacific of the Director General for International Relations and Strategy at the French Ministry of Armed Forces, and Participant in the International Military Council on Climate and Security. Nicolas explains the French point of view on the importance of acting efficiently on climate change, given that there are French nationals and territories all over the world and in areas especially vulnerable to the impacts of a warming planet. The French military plays a critical role in safeguarding its global citizens, neighbors and critical infrastructure against the impacts of climate change; as well as in providing maritime security in close partnership with regional allies. Listen to this episode to learn more about French defense activities globally and in the key warming-affected region of the Indo-Pacific. (more…)

Commander of US Forces in the Indo-Asia Pacific Affirms Climate Change Threat

Admiral Davidson_2019_02_12

Admiral Philip Davidson, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), describes climate change threats before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Feb 12, 2019

By John Conger

During a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 12, Admiral Philip Davidson, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), affirmed the threat climate change poses to his Area of Responsibility, becoming the 21st senior military official to raise concerns about climate risks during the current Administration (see here for a list from November, and here for statements from Admiral Moran and General Neller in December).

During questioning, Admiral Davidson confirmed that he agreed with the intelligence community’s assessment of the climate change threat, as articulated in the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment published by the Director for National Intelligence (NOTE: climate change has been identified as a security threat in each of the last ten such assessments). (more…)

Recommended Reading: Sea Change Evolving Maritime Geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific Region

Map by, Eric Gaba (Sting - fr:Sting)

Map by, Eric Gaba (Sting – fr:Sting)

The Stimson Center and India’s Observer Research Foundation recently partnered on a project exploring evolving trends that intersect with natural resources in the Indo-Pacific region. This project produced Sea Change: Evolving Maritime Geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific Region. The report covers a wide geography, and some of the most critical crossroads of the 21st century. It  ranges from sea lanes to security partnerships, to fisheries. Essentially, it covers issues that may not be on every security analysts’ list of important issues, but should be. (more…)