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Climate Security Fellows Report 2021

By Esther Sperling

These are unprecedented times. The world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, while democracies and economies around the globe are tested. Through it all, climate change is destabilizing natural and social systems, and driving new security risks. It has never been more important to engage the next generation of leaders on addressing these systemic risks.

The Climate and Security Advisory Group (CSAG), a project of the Center for Climate and Security, founded the Climate and Security Fellowship to do just that. The 2019-2020 Climate and Security Fellows are a distinguished group of professionals, all with one thing in common: a desire to address the security threats of climate change. They are emerging leaders in their respective fields of study and bring the necessary diversity of perspectives and backgrounds to address such wicked problems.

A self-selected group of Fellows wrote briefers on emerging climate security vulnerabilities. Each chose a topic that they felt was underrepresented in the current literature and deserved further examination. Our hope is that these briefers will spark a broader conversation on these vital security concerns.

I want to thank the Climate and Security Advisory Group for their support and thank all of the climate and security experts who briefed this cadre of fellows including: Hon. Sharon Burke, Hon. John Conger, Col. Mike Gremillion, USAF, Hon. Sherri Goodman, Dr. Rod Schoonover, and Joan VanDervort. Congratulations to the 2019-2020 class of Fellows. We look forward to watching their careers progress, and to their guidance of the next generation of leaders!

Esther Sperling, Co-Founder and Program Director, CSAG Climate and Security Fellowship Program

Read the report here.

The opinions expressed in this report are of the authors and do not reflect the positions of the affiliated organizations.

New Climate Security Report has Implications for NATO and COP26

By Danice Ball and Lily Feldman

Earlier this month, the Expert Group of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) released the World Climate and Security Report (WCSR) 2021, the second in an ongoing series of annual reports. The report dives into climate security risk assessments for a few hotspot regions, including Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, and also provides concrete tools to help policymakers address the growing unprecedented threats. A unique inclusion in this year’s report is a new Climate Security Risk Matrix and Methodology, which allows for evaluation of comparative climate risk among countries. In addition, the report features a Climate Security Risk Perception Survey, aggregating forecasts of climate risks from leading climate security experts in the world. These experts find climate security to be among the most pressing issues the world faces now, and a priority for future planning efforts. Between the Risk Matrix, the Survey, climate security case studies, and policy recommendations, the IMCCS Expert Group believes that policymakers will find the information needed to inform next steps in both preparing for and preventing climate security risks.

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Council on Strategic Risks Launches New Arctic Security Report, in Partnership with Woodwell Climate Research Center

June 21 2021 —  The Council on Strategic Risks’ Converging Risks Lab and the Woodwell Climate Research Center release a new report today, Temperatures and Tensions Rise: Security and Climate Risks in the Arctic. The publication includes groundbreaking new analysis on the implications of thawing permafrost across the Arctic region for security infrastructure, as well as modeling of the potential security implications of rapid changes in ice loss, temperature change, and growing regional activity. 

An interactive story map analysis of this research was launched in May 2021 in support of the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting. Together, the story map analysis and detailed report provide important new tools for security actors increasingly asked to interact in a rapidly changing Northern climate.

While previous research has examined rising tensions and future security scenarios in the Arctic, few publications have worked directly with climate scientists to model how changing climate realities in the fastest warming region on Earth could interact with these human activities. With each passing year, military and private activity in the region grows rapidly, and these forces will be forced to interact with growing extreme weather, ice variability, and permafrost thaw in the North due to warming temperatures.

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A Growing Crisis: The Launch of the World Climate and Security Report 2021

7 June 2021 | 10:00 – 11:30 AM EST / 4:00 – 5:30 PM CET

RSVP here: http://bit.ly/WCSR2021

Join the Expert Group of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) for the launch of the 2021 edition of the World Climate and Security Report. Featuring remarks by:

  • David van Weel, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges
  • Lt. Gen. Richard Nugee, Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy Lead for the UK Ministry of Defence
  • Sherri Goodman, Secretary General, IMCCS
  • Gen. Tom Middendorp (Ret.), Chair, IMCCS

UPDATE (8 June 2021). See a recording of the launch event below.

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