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Unprecedented Risks, Unprecedented Foresight: A “Responsibility to Prepare” Strategy for the United States in 2020
The Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) is a security policy institute devoted to anticipating, analyzing and addressing core systemic risks to security in the 21st century, with special examination of the ways in which these risks intersect and exacerbate one another. To further this goal, CSR hosts non-partisan centers tackling unprecedented security risks from climate change (The Center for Climate and Security) and nuclear, biological and chemical weapons (The Center on Strategic Weapons), as well as a program designed to study converging, cross-sectoral threats (The Converging Risks Lab). As the United States looks forward to 2020, it must use its unprecedented foresight to prepare for and address these unprecedented security risks.
A Responsibility to Prepare Strategy for 2020
The bad news is that the United States and its allies currently face unprecedented risks from climate change; nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; authoritarian nationalism; and other disruptive trends. The good news is that the U.S. and its allies, due to advances in data-analysis technologies, including AI, also possess unprecedented foresight about these risks. That combination of unprecedented risks and unprecedented foresight underlines a Responsibility to Prepare. This responsibility will fall to whomever assumes the office of the President of the United States in 2020. (more…)
On January 25, 2019 the Dominican Republic, during its month-long presidency of the UN Security Council (UNSC), hosted an “open debate” on climate change and security, which featured a number of important moments. The World Meteorological Organization publicly addressed the UNSC for the first time in its history, and a number of countries (among them France, the UK, Germany, Peru, Poland and Belgium) called for the UNSC to establish increased analytical capacities for addressing climate risks to international security, such as a “clearing house” for data and information, including an early warning system and an annual report on climate and security to be delivered by the UN secretary general to the UNSC. These calls were consistent with the Center for Climate and Security’s “Responsibility to Prepare” recommendations delivered to the UNSC in December 2017, especially those on “institutionalization” and “rapid response” which recommended that the UN develop “Climate Security Crisis Watch Centers” to keep the UNSC informed. (more…)
E-International Relations recently conducted a great interview with the Center for Climate and Security’s Senior Strategist, the Hon. Sherri Goodman, where she talks about both the unprecedented risks we face in today’s age, as well as the unprecedented foresight that technological developments have given us. An excerpt:
The most exciting current research and debates on climate security are occurring in three inter-related areas: First, the emergence of the “Responsibility to Prepare” concept, developed by the Center for Climate and Security, is enabling both deeper research and more consequential action on the unprecedented risks and unprecedented foresight we face in the climate era. We now live in an era of unprecedented threats from climate change, nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, cyber attacks, hyper-nationalism and other disruptive trends. At the same time, we have access to unprecedented foresight from technological advances in improved predictive capabilities, data analytics, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, virtual reality and other advanced technologies. As we acquire capabilities to better predict alternative futures, we have a responsibility to prepare for these unprecedented risks.
Welcome back to The Climate and Security Podcast! In this special Episode 5 we get two for one!
In this episode, host Dr. Sweta Chakraborty talks to the CEOs of The Council on Strategic Risks and Co-Founders of the Center for Climate and Security: Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell. Sweta asks Caitlin and Frank what inspired them to launch their institute, and the answer is eye opening! They discuss a future where stresses on natural resources have the potential to influence geopolitics and increase the likelihood of mass atrocities against ethnic minorities and other vulnerable groups. They also discuss a “Responsibility to Prepare,” driven by a combination of unprecedented risks and unprecedented foresight – a core principle underpinning their work.
RELEASE: At Critical Juncture for the EU, Experts Unveil “Europe’s Responsibility to Prepare” Framework for Climate and Security
Brussels, Belgium – In advance of a critical meeting of European Union (EU) security leaders on June 22, which marks the 10th anniversary of the EU’s landmark report on climate change and security, two leading think tanks have released a report outlining a new framework for the European Union to transform its response to the security risks of climate change.
In “Europe’s Responsibility to Prepare: Managing Climate Security Risks in a Changing World”, the Center for Climate and Security (based in Washington, DC) and the Clingendael Institute (based in The Hague) argue that the security threats of climate change should be more routinely integrated into EU institutions at a senior level and be elevated alongside other ‘traditional’ security issues like terrorism and nuclear threats. As the EU’s conflict prevention mechanisms are making progress in better-addressing climate risks, the report gives detailed recommendations on what a response scaled to the threat of climate change across EU bodies could look like. (more…)
Release: A Responsibility to Prepare – Military and National Security Leaders Release New Reports on Climate Change
Washington, DC – On Capitol Hill today, two nonpartisan groups of senior military and national security experts facilitated by the Center for Climate and Security (CCS) released reports identifying rapidly-growing risks to national security due to climate change, and urging the U.S. government to take those risks seriously (click here for a livestream of the release event, beginning at 9:30am EST). The reports include the 2nd Edition of CCS’s Military Expert Panel Report: Sea Level Rise and the U.S. Military’s Mission and the Climate and Security Advisory Group’s Roadmap and Recommendations for the U.S. Government which outlines a “Responsibility to Prepare” framework for the U.S. government. (more…)
The close of 2017 demonstrated that attention to the security risks of climate change has grown significantly on the international stage. The annual international climate security gathering, the Planetary Security Conference (PSC for the acronym-inclined), took place in The Hague on December 12-13, and was immediately followed by a UN Security Council dialogue on climate and security on December 15, chaired by the Italian government. Further, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Congress, the EU and the Australian Senate, all showed leadership on addressing this risk. (more…)