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Which socio-political, technological, demographic, diplomatic, military, and economic drivers will shape the converging threats of climate change and national security in the South and East China Seas? This is the motivating question for a new report, from the Center for Climate and Security (CCS), entitled Climate Change, Security and Political Coherence in the South and East China Seas: a Scenarios-based Assessment.
To address the question, the Center for Climate and Security convened a group of regional experts in science, politics, security and adjacent fields to tease out the cascading threats that climate change poses in the region. This expert input informed four future scenarios for the countries bordering the South and East China Seas.(more…)
Earlier this year, The Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) convened its multidisciplinary Working Group on Climate, Nuclear, and Security Affairs to further investigate the intersections of these trends. In the forthcoming weeks, CSR will publish a series of posts expanding on workshop discussions.
The South China Sea: A Potential Climate, Nuclear, Security Hotspot
By Andrea Rezzonico
The Working Group on Climate, Nuclear, and Security Affairs, a project of CSR’s Converging Risks Lab, examines the nexus of existential threats stemming from climate change and nuclear risks—overlaid on the stress of ongoing security challenges such as terrorism and state fragility.
The South China Sea region faces a range of disruptive climate and security challenges, as several countries explore nuclear energy. The region is also influenced in various ways by most nuclear weapons-possessing countries, including the United States, China, India, Pakistan, and Russia. Ongoing territorial disputes, incidents of maritime confrontation and other current events underscore the area’s tenuous state of affairs. The Working Group accordingly considers this region a priority for investigation.
For the rest of the article, visit the Council on Strategic Risks’ website here.
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…)
Please RSVP to join us on November 17, 2015 for the launch of our new report, The U.S. Asia-Pacific Rebalance, National Security and Climate Change, and a conversation between leaders from the defense, diplomacy and intelligence worlds.
The United States is in the early stages of what it characterizes as an “Asia-Pacific rebalance”. Essentially, this means that on a very broad strategic scale, the United States intends to reorient its foreign policy and national security posture to the Asia-Pacific region, which is host to burgeoning populations, growing economies, strategic choke-points like the South China Sea, and a number of rising powers. But the region is also one of the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, with a growing coastal population, rising seas, numerous critical waterways fed by glaciers, threatened island states, increased drying, and projections of severe water insecurity in the near future.
In this context, the effects of climate change are likely to both shape, and be shaped by, the U.S. role in the Asia-Pacific. (more…)