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The Center for Climate and Security Applauds the Biden Administration’s Executive Actions on Climate Change

The Center for Climate and Security applauds President Biden’s Executive Orders (EO) on climate change released today, including the EO specifically addressing climate threats to national security titled  “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.”  This EO devotes a significant section (1.3) to climate security, following through on many of the policy proposals made in the President’s campaign plan, and reflecting recommendations the Center for Climate and Security made in its “Climate Security Plan for America.”

As we noted after the election last November, President Biden committed to making climate change a core national security priority. This EO begins to make that commitment a reality, noting that climate considerations are an “essential element” of all U.S. foreign and national security policy – signaling a major and unprecedented elevation of the issue.  It builds on the President’s appointment of former Secretary of State John Kerry to be his Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (a position with a seat on the National Security Council, established in the EO), and the creation of a Senior Director for Climate and Energy at the National Security Council  – actions that together go well beyond the Obama Administration’s actions on climate security.  

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The Center for Climate and Security Welcomes Erin Sikorsky as Deputy Director

The Center for Climate and Security, an institute of the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR), is delighted to welcome Erin Sikorsky as its new Deputy Director, and Director of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS). Previously, Ms. Sikorsky served as the Deputy Director of the Strategic Futures Group on the US National Intelligence Council (NIC), where she co-authored the quadrennial Global Trends report and led the US intelligence community’s environmental and climate security analysis. She is also the founding chair of the Climate Security Advisory Council, a Congressionally-mandated group designed to facilitate coordination between the intelligence community and US government scientific agencies on climate security matters. Ms. Sikorsky worked in the US intelligence community for over a decade. Prior to joining the NIC, she led teams covering a range of issues related to the Middle East and Africa. Ms. Sikorsky earned a Master of International Affairs at Columbia University, and a B.A. in government from Smith College. 

Ms. Sikorsky brings an incredible depth of experience and expertise on climate security to the Center for Climate and Security, and we could not be more thrilled to work with her.

The Center for Climate and Security on CBS News: Suppression of Climate Change Analysis by the White House

CCS research featured on CBS News – October 23, 2020

By Kate Guy

On October 22, Center for Climate and Security (CCS) and Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) Advisory Board Member Dr. Rod Schoonover was featured in a CBS News segment discussing the severe security impacts posed by climate change. The segment, which aired ahead of the final 2020 U.S. Presidential Debate, highlighted the global security threats that a warming climate will exacerbate, and also featured cutting-edge analysis by the Center for Climate and Security

Climate insecurities “come in compounded effects, not isolated effects,” explained Dr. Schoonver to CBS News, including “direct harm from extreme events, water stress, food insecurity, erosion of econo life, loss of residences and property, and risk to human health.”

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Heeding the Intelligence Warnings of the Next Crisis

3By John Conger and Kate Guy

In the January 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment, the Director of National Intelligence offered this clear prediction: “We assess that the United States and the world will remain vulnerable to the next flu pandemic or largescale outbreak of a contagious disease that could lead to massive rates of death and disability…”

It is hard to come up with a better description of the current crisis.

A few pages later, the report predicts that “global environmental and ecological degradation, as well as climate change, are likely to fuel competition for resources, economic distress, and social discontent through 2019 and beyond. Climate hazards such as extreme weather, higher temperatures, droughts, floods, wildfires, storms, sea level rise, soil degradation, and acidifying oceans are intensifying, threatening infrastructure, health, and water and food security.” (more…)

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