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The Climate and Security Podcast: Episode 15 with Jamie Shea

Climate and Security Podcast_Episode 15_Jamie SheaWelcome back to The Climate and Security Podcast!

In this episode, host Dr. Sweta Chakraborty talks to Jamie Shea, Secretary General of the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at NATO. Shea discusses how climate change is happening faster than initially predicted and what this acceleration means for global security. He describes the tensions between climate change mitigation and adaptation in terms of resource allocation and prioritization and how both must occur simultaneously. Jamie provides global security policy insight that only someone who has had a 39-year long career at NATO can provide. Enjoy this informative and unique global perspective from Jamie Shea! (more…)

The International Military Council on Climate and Security on NBC

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Solar panels are tested during a NATO exercise in Hungary. NATO

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…)

Two Days of Climate and Security Action in the UN Security Council and Japan

Joint disaster drill

Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka port operations department sailors onboard USS Puyallup, simulate delivering food, clothing, first aid kits to Japanese disaster workers. US Navy Photo By Joseph Schmitt

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…)

Vice Admiral McGinn on CNN: The President should acknowledge climate threat at NATO

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Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, left, speaks with Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, USN (Ret) at the Navy Energy Forum 2009

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.

Climate Change and NATO: A New Study

Africa Partnership Station

Moroccan sailor, boarding exercise, NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center in Souda Bay, Greece (U.S. Navy photo by Brian A. Goyak)

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…)

NATO encouraged to address climate risks to its mission in new report

SD attends North Atlantic Council meeting

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…)

NATO Secretary General: “Climate change is also a security threat”

782px-Jens_StoltenbergBy 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…)