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Taking Action on Compound Climate-Fragility Risks

USAID_The Nexus of Fragility and Climate Risks_2019By Ashley Moran and Josh Busby

Fragile states face substantial and growing risks from climate change. Our recent study for USAID sought to identify precisely where and how these climate and fragility risks intersect around the world. In new briefs from USAID, we highlight the key findings and implications for policymakers.

Our Policy Summary: The Nexus of Fragility and Climate Risks notes key takeaways for policymakers at the global level. Notably: (more…)

RELEASE: Climate and Nuclear Security Framework Issued by Leading Experts

Working Group on Climate Nuclear and Security Affairs_Report OneRELEASE: Leading Experts Issue First-of-its Kind Framework for Managing the Intersection of Climate Change and Nuclear Security

Washington, DC, November 15, 2017 — In its initial report released today, the Working Group on Climate, Nuclear, and Security Affairs, chaired by the Center for Climate and Security, has articulated a first-of-its kind framework for understanding and addressing the complex connections between climate change, security, and nuclear issues. The report arrives as the 23rd Conference of the Parties concludes its meeting in Bonn, Germany to plan implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and in the aftermath of President Trump’s tour of Asia, during which nuclear weapons issues featured prominently. (more…)

More Evidence on Climate Change and Conflict Links: Context is Key

Mideast Iraq Heat Wave

Iraqis displaced by conflict collect water at al-Takia refugee camp in Baghdad, July 2015 (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)

By Neil Bhatiya, Climate and Diplomacy Fellow, The Center for Climate and Security

Much of the work the policy community has done with regard to the role climate change may play in driving armed conflict rests on important social science research which seeks to explore how conflicts start, are sustained, and eventually end. A lot of work in this subfield has focused on well-known case studies such as Syrian drought and the ongoing civil war there. In a new study in last Fall’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Nina von Uexkull, Mihai Croicua, Hanne Fjeldea, and Halvard Buhaug add some essential new evidence to the debate over how climate change impacts, in this case increased drought, play into conflict dynamics. (more…)

Managing Complex Risk in a Time of Unprecedented Changes

DHMAThis is an excerpt from an article published yesterday in The Mark News.

By FRANCESCO FEMIA AND CAITLIN WERRELL
Co-Founders of the Center for Climate and Security

The greatest migration since World War II continues. Refugees are flowing in record numbers from around the world. It is a humanitarian crisis of the highest order. The cause of this migration is often war and conflict. However, that explanation only begins to scratch the surface. The 21st century is a time of increasing social, political and economic complexity – a time when the pace of change is straining the capacity of governments to keep up. One such complexity involves unprecedented stress on natural resources as a result of climate change, demographic pressures, and the inability (or unwillingness) of governments to manage those changes. Within this context, the likelihood of governance breakdowns, including state instability and mass migration, is already increasing. Given future climate and population projections, those breakdowns could, in the absence of comprehensive, preventive actions, get a lot worse.

For the rest of article, click here.

Climate Change, State Fragility and the New CHIRPS Dataset

Syria migration

Reuters/Rodi Said

By Dr. Colin Kelley, Senior Research Fellow, The Center for Climate and Security

In order to better understand the nexus linking climate change and state fragility, we need to better grasp the effects of climatic changes, particularly in rainfall and temperature, at the regional, national and subnational levels, and what they mean for resource availability.  Enter a new data product called CHIRPS.

The USAID Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET), in conjunction with scientists at the University of California Santa Barbara, recently developed a new precipitation dataset in support of drought monitoring called CHIRPS (Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data). CHIRPS has already been utilized successfully for this purpose, but also has other far reaching implications that will be important for better understanding of subnational to global security dynamics. These include an improved characterization of resilience in regions and states that are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and variability. (more…)

Canadian Foreign Minister on Climate Change, Security and Fragility

640px-Canada Hurricane Katrina

Canadian Sailors unload supplies on board Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. to assist with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Jay C. Pugh

The Canadian Government’s Global Affairs Canada (a department that includes the country’s foreign affairs, trade and development ministers), held a conference yesterday on  “Climate Change and Security: Fragile States.” The conference included a presentation by the Center for Climate & Security’s Senior Fellow for International Affairs, Shiloh Fetzek, as well an address by the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs,  Stéphane Dion (see below). See Minister Dion’s full remarks here. This address and conference, explicitly focused on the links between climate change and state fragility, follows on the heels of a recent bi-lateral agreement between the United States and Canada to expand cooperation on matters of climate and security.

For a nuanced look at climate and security as it relates to the Arctic and Canada, also see this interview with Dr. Chad Briggs produced by adelphi. (more…)

A Presidential Perspective on Climate Change and Security

SouthPorticoBy Neil Bhatiya, Climate and Diplomacy Fellow, The Center for Climate and Security

In a wide-ranging story published today in the Atlantic, correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg analyzes the Obama Administration’s foreign policy record, and the particular mix of ideas, experiences, and emotions that underpin the President’s approach to the world. Over the course of several years, Goldberg has discussed global crises with the President, from Afghanistan to Libya, Syria, and Ukraine. Among the fascinating details is an excerpt that reveals how the President tries to think of the varied threats facing the country:   (more…)