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What is the biggest national security threat? Is climate change the biggest national security threat? We, and the current U.S. presidential candidates, get these questions quite a bit. They are not good questions. These questions confuse the nature of today’s security threats, and more specifically, obscure the complex way in which climate change affects the broader security landscape. Climate change is not an exogenous threat, hermetically sealed from other risks. It is, as the CNA Corporation first stated in 2007, a “threat multiplier.” The impacts of climate change interact with other factors to make existing security risks – whether it’s state fragility in the Middle East, or territorial disputes in the South China Sea – worse. (more…)
An international group of military, finance, science and energy experts today (13 July) released a new independent assessment of the risks of climate change, designed to support political leaders in their decisions on how much priority to give to the issue. The Center for Climate and Security’s Co-Directors, Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell, acted as contributing authors to Chapter 21 of the report, titled “Climate Change Risks to National and International Security.” (more…)
The UK government recently released the first in a series of assessments that far more governments should be conducting – a climate change risk assessment. It’s a long document, and a number of people are talking about it, so we’ll just include a short list of the assessment’s “key messages” below. Despite the report’s recognition that “gaps in evidence” of climate risk still exist, it recommends robust action for risk management, demonstrating that being prepared does not require 100% certainty.