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On the Record: Climate as a Security Risk According to U.S. Administration Officials

James_Mattis_Official_SECDEF_PhotoUnder both Republican and Democratic Administrations, senior U.S. military, national security and foreign policy leaders have recognized the security risks of climate change, and urged a response that is commensurate to the threat. In this context, The Center for Climate and Security has created a new page, On The Record, on its Climate Security 101 Project website compiling key statements on the issue from current and past military, national security and foreign policy leaders. This is not a complete list, but it is a good reminder that climate change is far more than just an environmental concern. (more…)

Munich Security Conference: Climate on the Agenda – What’s Next?

munich_skylineBy Shiloh Fetzek, Senior Fellow for International Affairs

Climate change was higher on the Munich Security Conference agenda than it has been in previous years, with a more-prominent panel and mentions by other speakers during the event, including EU High Representative/EC Vice-President Federica Mogherini, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and Bill Gates.

The panel “Climate Security: Good COP, Bad Cops” was given the central question: how can the security community help put nations of the world on a path to exceed commitments on climate change and sustainable development? (more…)

Release: 3 Bipartisan Groups of Military and Security Leaders Urge New Course on Climate

USS AlbanyRelease: Three Bipartisan Groups of Military and National Security Leaders Urge Robust New Course on Climate Change

— Bipartisan Group of Military and National Security Experts Announce Consensus Statement on Climate Change

— National Security Experts Release Briefing Book for Next Commander in Chief Mapping New Approach to Climate Change

— New Military Expert Panel Report Warns of Coastal U.S. Military Bases’ Vulnerability to Rising Seas

(more…)

“Is Climate Change the Biggest Security Threat?” Is Still A Bad Question

World Map, showing Failed States according to the

World Map, showing Failed States according to the “Failed States Index 2013” (by Ithinkhelikesit)

What is the biggest national security threat? Is climate change the biggest national security threat? We, and the current U.S. presidential candidates, get these questions quite a bit. They are not good questions. These questions confuse the nature of today’s security threats, and more specifically, obscure the complex way in which climate change affects the broader security landscape. Climate change is not an exogenous threat, hermetically sealed from other risks. It is, as the CNA Corporation first stated in 2007, a “threat multiplier.” The impacts of climate change interact with other factors to make existing security risks – whether it’s state fragility in the Middle East, or territorial disputes in the South China Sea – worse. (more…)

U.S. Coast Guard On the Front Lines of Climate Change and National Security

Bow ThrustersToday, President Obama delivered the commencement address to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Excerpts from the speech related to climate change and security are below. The White House also simultaneously released a review of federal reports on climate change and national security here (for more documents and resources, see our ClimateSecurity101). Below are responses from Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board members and staff.

Lieutenant General John G. Castellaw, US Marine Corps (ret), Advisory Board Member, The Center for Climate and Security
“The U.S. Coast Guard is on the front lines of the national security implications of a changing climate. It’s time our nation’s policy-makers gave them the support they need to help prevent, prepare for and respond to those risks.” (more…)

Update: Global Security Defense Index on Climate Change

071127-N-7955L-130The American Security Project (ASP) has just released an updated version of its Global Security Defense Index on Climate Change, which examines how national security establishments across the globe view (and address) climate change. The update hones in on a handful of specific countries, including Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Guyana, India, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. Here is a description of the index, and update ,from the ASP website: (more…)

On the Hill this Week: Hearings on Climate and Security This Week

800px-United_States_Capitol_Building-_west_front_editThere will be two hearings in the U.S. Congress this week that are directly relevant to the intersection of climate change and security. Below is the basic information for both hearings taken from the websites of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, respectively. Stay tuned for more coverage of these hearings over the next few days. (more…)