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“Climate change is an increasingly destabilizing force—an accelerating destabilization force—and it’s impacting our operational environment, it’s creating new missions, and our allies and partners are going to be called to respond to these increased demands,” said Brigadier General Rebecca Sonkiss, Deputy Director for Counter Threats and International Cooperation at the Joint Staff (J5), at a recent event hosted by the Wilson Center and the Center for Climate and Security. At the event, senior U.S. Government officials reflected on the significance of the Biden administration’s new climate security reports and how climate security is being prioritized and coordinated across defense and development, providing insight into the administration’s whole-of-government approach.(more…)
By John Conger
Part 1 of 4 in the Climate Security Plan for America Blog Series
In late 2019, the Center for Climate and Security-led Climate Security Advisory Group, a group of senior U.S. national security and military experts, including eight retired four-star generals and admirals, published the A Climate Security Plan for America. These leaders outlined a comprehensive plan to elevate climate change as a security priority and offered recommendations in four broad categories. This blog discusses the first, Demonstrating Leadership.
As we stated in the report, we believed that in order to successfully counter climate security challenges, it must be an articulated priority of the U.S. President. Check. President-elect Biden has repeated often that he seeks to make climate change “a core national security priority.” He named former Secretary Kerry as his “climate envoy” with a seat on the National Security Council. For his own part, Secretary Kerry’s initial comments on his new role have focused on the security threat posed by climate change.(more…)