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The Leaders Summit on Climate is a Historic Moment in Global Security

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is John_Kerrys_trip_to_Brussels_March_2021_9.jpg
U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry meets with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, March 9, 2021

By Kate Guy

Starting today, the Biden Administration is bringing together global leaders and Heads of State to catalyze ambition in the first ever Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by the U.S. Government. But this Summit is also historic in another way: the inclusion of a high-level conversation on the “global security challenges posed by climate change” at the center of its agenda. American defense and security leaders have never before attended a high-level summit on climate change, let alone chaired one. 

Now, climate security issues will take a featured role in a dedicated session hosted by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, with participation from the Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and the Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Joining them will be senior security officials from six countries (the United Kingdom, Japan, Kenya, The Philippines, Iraq, and Spain), as well as the Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. This high-level participation represents a major advancement in the Center for Climate and Security’s decade-long effort to bring climate change to the big kid’s table of national and international security, as well as to better integrate security considerations into global climate policy.

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