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On the heels of the Quadrennial Defense Review release, the Hill’s Congress blog has published a great piece by our distinguished Advisory Board members Lt. Gen John Castellaw, USMC (Ret) and Rear Adm. David Titley, USN (Ret), titled “The U.S. military leads on climate change.” In it, they describe the leadership of the U.S. military on addressing climate change, and articulate the simple fact that climate change is a question of national security, and not one that should be subject to partisan bickering. Read the full article here.
On March 7, Secretary Kerry issued a policy directive to the Department of State calling on the need to integrate considerations of climate change into everything the department does. While the directive itself has not yet been publicly released, the State Department blog highlighted six priority areas. Of particular note to those interested in the nexus of climate change and security is item number seven:
VII. Integrate climate change with other priorities: Better integrating climate solutions into cross-cutting challenges, including women’s empowerment, urbanization, conflict and national security, and our own management and operations.
In context of the climate-security considerations in the recently-released Quadrennial Defense Review, it seems that the Department of State and the Department of Defense are on the same page. That’s a very good sign.
Read the full announcement here.
Secretary of State John Kerry recently gave a speech in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he compared climate change to other transnational security threats such as “terrorism, epidemics, poverty, [and] the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.” But the U.S. military was already there.
Secretary Kerry was following the lead of four-star Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear II, head of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), who in a speech in Jakarta a year earlier also identified climate change as the biggest security threat facing the region, with the capacity to even “threaten the loss of entire nations.” (more…)
Newly appointed Secretary of State John Kerry has a long and distinguished history of working at the intersection of national security and climate change. As such, the overlap in these areas of expertise will likely be a particularly important part of his tenure. (For a good overview of why Kerry should address the security risks of climate change see this recent article by Coral Davenport). (more…)