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The Making of a Climate General: An Interview with IMCCS Chair, Retired General Tom Middendorp

By Elsa Barron

The chair of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS), Gen. Tom Middendorp (Ret.) recently published a book titled Klimaatgeneraal, or “Climate General.” The book builds on his tenure as the Chief of Defense of the Netherlands to illustrate the relationship between climate change and security risks, before turning to positive solutions to address these interconnected challenges. CCS Research Fellow Elsa Barron spoke with Gen. Middendorp about his identity as a “climate general,” the evolution of the climate security field, and opportunities for climate adaptation and mitigation in the security sector. 

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New U.S. Navy Climate Strategy Sets High-Level Goals

By Erin Sikorsky 

On May 24, the U.S. Navy released Climate Action 2030, its response to the Presidential directive to integrate climate considerations into all aspects of the Department of Defense. The Navy is the second of the armed services to release such a strategy – the Army released its version in February, and the Air Force continues to work on its plan.  

Like the Army’s report, the Navy strategy repeatedly notes that far from distracting from the Navy’s core mission – warfighting – preparing for climate change will ensure the Navy is resilient and ready in the face of a changing landscape. As the report says, “The Department does not have to choose between warfighting and preparing for climate change; the two go hand-in-hand.” 

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Join Us for the Launch of the 2022 World Climate and Security Series

By Elsa Barron

Join the International Military Council on Climate Security’s Expert Group on June 7, 2022, at 5 PM CET/ 11 AM ET for the launch of the 2022 World Climate and Security Report Series (register here). The 2022 Series includes three components reflecting the priorities in the NATO Climate Change and Security Action Plan — risk assessment, mitigation challenges and opportunities, and climate adaptation strategies. Given the already existing and intensifying impacts of climate change, each component of the series is designed to equip policymakers to move from planning to action to address the consequent security threats.

Our virtual launch event (register here) will feature remarks from IMCCS leadership, the Honorable Sherri Goodman and General Tom Middendorp (Ret), as well as the Luxembourg Minister of Defense Francois Bausch and other special guests. We hope you can join us!

Register here

UPDATE 6/7/2022: Read the report here.

Unpacking the Pentagon’s $3.1 Billion Climate Request

Rough seas pound the hull of Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Arctic as she sails alongside Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua A. Moore

By John Conger

On March 28, the U.S. Federal Budget request for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY2023) was released, officially kicking off the Congressional budget season and the ensuing posture testimonies, staffer briefs, and associated deep dives into the details of the budget.  With that first release, however, the Department of Defense (DoD) had not yet made available the budget details – instead providing just an information appetizer in the form of an overview slide deck.  The slides indicated that the DoD characterized $3.1 billion of its budget request as “climate investment” in four categories: Installation Resiliency and Adaptation ($2 billion); Science and Technology ($807 million); Operational Energy and Buying Power ($247 million); and Contingency Preparedness ($28 million).  These categories roughly line up with similar categories from FY2022 but represent significant increases in each.   The FY2022 budget identified $617 million in similar categories.  That said, while the categories remain the same, the contents are slightly different and it is hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison between the two.

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