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In an article published on Saturday, NBC News‘ Linda Givetash covered the growing trend of militaries taking concrete steps to address the threat of climate change, including efforts by NATO militaries to enhance energy efficiency in the context of the NATO mission. As Givetash notes, “military officials from 29 countries — including the United States — will test whether energy efficient equipment and hybrid diesel-solar power systems can be easily integrated into their operations in Poland this June.”
For the piece, Givetash highlighted the “newly established International Military Council on Climate and Security“, noting that the IMCCS “aims to bring the impact of climate change on natural disasters and conflicts to the forefront of military strategy.” Givetash spoke with both IMCCS Secretary General Sherri Goodman, and IMCCS Chair General Tom Middendorp. From the article: (more…)
By Shiloh Fetzek, Sherri Goodman and John Conger
Within 24 hours of each other, three significant security events will take place in New York, Brussels and Tokyo. On July 11/12, Sweden leads a debate in the UN Security Council on climate and security, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs convenes a major conference on the same subject, and the NATO Summit begins in Brussels.
Climate change will be front and center at the first two of these, but likely not as front and center at the third.
The UN Security Council debate on July 11 is the culmination of two years of effort by Sweden to mainstream climate change into the work of the UN Security Council, making it fit for purpose in a climate-shaped security environment. Sweden managed to catalyze action and create significant momentum during their two-year term as a nonpermanent member of the Council, momentum which is likely to bridge the transition to new non-permanent members in 2019 – particularly Germany and Belgium. This follows on the Arria Formula Dialogue last December and almost a decade worth of work to address climate security risks at the UN Security Council. (more…)
In an article published today by CNN, the Center for Climate and Security’s Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, U.S. Navy (Ret), former Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, has an important bit of advice for the U.S. President and other NATO leaders as they head to Brussels to participate in the NATO Summit: Take the advice of U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and acknowledge the security threat of a changing climate.
From the article:
US Defense Secretary James Mattis is one of this country’s greatest military leaders. A former four-star Marine General, he’s well read, thoughtful, pragmatic and highly intelligent. As our foremost national security strategist, in 2017, he described climate change as a threat facing the US.
“The effects of a changing climate — such as increased maritime access to the Arctic, rising sea levels, desertification, among others — impact our security situation,” he wrote.
Since then, 15 other senior US defense leaders have reaffirmed that view.
Read the full article at the CNN website.
Guest post by Amar Causevic
This article summarizes findings from a recent journal article, Facing an Unpredictable Threat: Is NATO Ideally Placed to Manage Climate Change as a Non-Traditional Threat Multiplier?” published in the George C. Marshall European Centre for Security Studies’ “Connections: The Quarterly Journal.”
Climate change acts as multiplier of other threats to national and international security. The multiplier effects of climate change include stresses on the ability of families to provide for themselves (which can contribute to increased refugee and migration flows), a broader spread of diseases, potentially causing or exacerbating lethal pandemics, and other significant challenges to human security. (more…)
RELEASE: NATO encouraged to address climate risks to its mission in new report
Washington, D.C., May 22 2017 — In a new report, the Center for Climate and Security (CCS), a policy institute with an Advisory Board of retired senior military officers and national security experts, applauds NATO’s attention to climate change while offering recommendations for how the Alliance can more thoroughly address climate-related risks to the NATO mission. The report, titled The Alliance in a Changing Climate: Bolstering the NATO Mission Through Climate Preparedness arrives ahead of the North Atlantic Council meeting on May 24th-25th.
The report looks at the impact of climate change on NATO’s operating environment: (more…)
By Shiloh Fetzek, Senior Fellow for International Affairs
In advance of the NATO Summit Warsaw in July, the Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg sat down for an interview with POLITICO Europe. When asked what NATO is doing to address the risks of climate change, he responded by asserting that climate change is in fact a security risk, and an issue to consider in the context of conflict prevention, peace and stability. He also noted that NATO does not have the luxury of choosing the challenges it faces, and has to work to adapt to the changing security environment. Indeed, the challenges that NATO faces are serious and climate change, particularly if not adequately addressed by NATO member states, could very well multiply those challenges and ultimately challenge the NATO mission. However, though the Secretary General appreciated the risks of climate change to NATO’s security landscape, he unfortunately stopped short of describing it as a priority of his. (more…)
The Center for Climate and Security is honored to welcome Admiral Sam J. Locklear, United States Navy (Retired), to its distinguished Advisory Board of senior military, national security and foreign policy experts. Admiral Locklear recently retired from the US Navy after serving with distinction for over 39 years, including 15 years of service as a Flag Officer. During his significant tenure as a four star, Admiral Locklear lead at the highest levels serving as Commander U.S. Pacific Command, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, and Commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command.
As Commander U.S. Pacific Command, the United States’ oldest and largest geographic unified combatant command, he commanded all U.S. military forces operating across more than half the globe. He accurately assessed the rapidly changing geopolitical environment of the Indo-Asia-Pacific, the most militarized area of the world, made significant advancements in how U.S. forces are postured for crisis or contingency, and was instrumental in addressing the growing global cyber challenges in the region. A key architect of America’s rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, Admiral Locklear provided the vision, strategic framework, and detailed planning that began the rebalance of U.S. military influence to the Asia-Pacific. He skillfully managed the US military relationships with our five Pacific treaty allies, numerous key security partners, and emerging multilateral security forums. Additionally, he maintained a pragmatic but lasting relationship with China’s military and made significant progress in developing a deeper strategic security relationship with India. (more…)