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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.(more…)
How to Prioritize Climate Change in U.S. National Security
By Kate Guy
From the outset of Joe Biden’s run for the American presidency, he pledged to look at national security with fresh eyes. Evolving systemic threats like climate change, often relegated to the portfolios of environmental experts and science agencies, were repeatedly mentioned in his plans to remake U.S. defense and foreign policy. “Climate change is the existential threat to humanity,” he often reiterated in the closing days of his campaign.
Now, with the first members of President-elect Biden’s national security team announced, it’s clear that he has taken the first steps to make good on these campaign promises. In the past few years, nominees like Blinken, Sullivan, and Haines have each referenced the need for the U.S. to prioritize addressing climate change in its approach to global challenges. And with the creation of a cabinet-level Presidential Climate Envoy, long-time climate security leader John Kerry will sit in every meeting of the National Security Council with his eye trained on climate threats.(more…)
A Very Strong Signal: 5 Key Takeaways on John Kerry’s Climate Envoy Role and Seat on the National Security Council
By John Conger, Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell
On Monday, President-Elect Biden announced several members of his national security team. They included Anthony Blinken as Secretary of State, Alejandro Mayorkas as Secretary of Homeland Security, Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence, Linda Thomas-Greenfield as United Nations Ambassador, Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor, and… former Secretary of State John Kerry as the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. While each of these announcements have positive implications for how climate change is addressed by the national security enterprise, let’s explore five key implications of this last announcement.(more…)
Climate Security on Day One
By John Conger
It’s a frequent question that presidential candidates are asked: What would you do on Day One of your Presidency? Aside from the fact that there’s only so much you can practically get accomplished before you have your staff in place and operations running, a four-year term rapidly becomes a short period of time. Congress often moves slowly and Federal budget processes are not designed for agility. For example, the first budget a new president gets to write would be the one they submit 13 months into their term, which only affects spending close to two years into their term. It can be frustrating, but it also illustrates why it’s absolutely necessary to have an idea of what you want to accomplish from the outset. (more…)