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Led by Representatives Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Jim Langevin (D-RI), a bipartisan group of 106 lawmakers released an extraordinary letter last week urging the President of the United States to reconsider omission of climate change as a security threat in its National Security Strategy, citing the words of sitting Secretary of Defense James Mattis to underline the issue’s importance. (more…)
The Administration today released its first National Security Strategy. Click here for the official summary, and here for the full text. Notably, climate change is not listed as a national security risk in the document, though there are a few elements that relate to the subject. Below is the Center for Climate and Security’s out-of-the-gate reaction: (more…)
The United Kingdom recently released its latest National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015. The strategic document essentially lays out the fundamentals of the UK’s approach to national security, and climate change features prominently (all explicit mentions of climate change are quoted below). Broadly speaking, climate change is listed as a contributor to instability, an opportunity for engagement with other nations, including the United States, and as a factor affecting UK global influence. (more…)
The Obama Administration released its second and last National Security Strategy (NSS) today. In the NSS, climate change is appropriately listed, along with eight other threats such as proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and global economic crisis, as among the “top strategic risks to our interests.” This follows on the leadership of the Department of Defense in its Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap (CCAR), where climate change is identified as a “threat multiplier” and as posing “immediate risks to national security.” However, based on how responses to climate risks are conveyed in the NSS, there is room for improvement. (more…)
The Australian government has just released its new national security strategy titled “Strong and Secure: A Strategy for Australia’s National Security.” Within its fifty-eight pages, the security challenge of climate change is featured under the heading of “broader global challenges with national security implications,” and described in the following way: (more…)
The World Economic Forum’s 2011 Global Risks Report ranks climate change as one of the greatest risks, far outweighing other traditional risks such as terrorism and nuclear proliferation (though those risks should not be minimized, given their devastating potential). A risk “score” is determined by how likely a particular threat is, and how great the impact of that threat, if it materialized, would be. In this context, climate change is seen as a highly probable and high impact risk. (more…)