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Why does the Department of Defense call climate change a threat multiplier? Last week, Yale Climate Connections sat down with Sherri Goodman, Senior Strategist at the Center for Climate and Security and former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security) to find out more. She explains, “Extreme weather and water shortages increase the risk of political instability and terrorism.” As a threat multiplier, climate change aggravates other stressors that together can threaten a nation’s stability. (more…)
Welcome back to The Climate and Security Podcast!
In this episode, host Dr. Sweta Chakraborty talks to the “Godmother of Climate and Security,” Sherri Goodman, Senior Strategist with the Center for Climate and Security. Sweta asks Sherri about the Arctic, which is changing faster than any other place on Earth! Sherri explains how the Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet–destabilizing infrastructure and resulting in a new ocean. She describes climate change is a “threat multiplier” (a term she coined!) in that it amplifies the impacts to various aspects of our lives, from the food we eat to the water we drink and to where we choose to live. This is an episode not to be missed!
On June 30th, 2015, the UN Security Council (UNSC) held an open Arria-formula meeting on the role of climate change as a threat multiplier for global security. The meeting was co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of Spain and Malaysia. The aim of the meeting, according to the prepared concept note, was “to better identify the inter-connected threats to international peace and security related to Climate Change.” The concept note continues: “Everyday more countries are incorporating climate change considerations into their national security policies and since Climate Change is, and will be, altering geopolitical dynamics, it seems necessary to develop more structured means of addressing this issue from an international perspective.” A list of speakers and statements is available below and here. (more…)
Yonhap News Agency recently reported the remarks of South Korea’s Second Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul regarding the security risks of climate change. The minister provided important commentary on both security risks, as well as the need for a more holistic partnership approach to tackling climatic risks in the Asia-Pacific region. The full article is worth reading and can be accessed here. The minister’s remarks were focused mostly on the Asia-Pacific region, but Cho Tae-yul has also spoken about the role of climatic factors in the Arctic, and expressed interest in Arctic Council membership for South Korea. (more…)
Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, USN (ret) recently spoke to Sirius XM’s POTUS station regarding a recent statement released by the Partnership for a Secure America, and signed by 38 bipartisan national security leaders, including himself. The statement calls for U.S. action on addressing the security implications of climate change in vulnerable parts of the world. Retired Vice Admiral McGinn states: (more…)
Climate change is a “threat multiplier.” This was the primary focus of an excellent piece in today’s Politico co-authored by the Hon. Sherri Goodman, former deputy undersecretary of defense, senior vice president and general counsel of CNA, and executive director of the CNA Military Advisory Board, and Gen. Gordon Sullivan, USA (ret), the 32nd chief of staff of the Army, president and chief executive officer of the Association of the United States Army, and member of the CNA Military Advisory Board. (more…)
Climate and Security 101: Why the U.S. National Security Establishment Takes Climate Change Seriously
In a 2007 report by the CNA Military Advisory Board, General Gordon R. Sullivan stated: “People are saying they want to be perfectly convinced about climate science projections…But speaking as a soldier, we never have 100 percent certainty. If you wait until you have 100 percent certainty, something bad is going to happen on the battlefield.”
The national security establishment in the United States, including the U.S. military and the U.S. intelligence community, understand that climate change is a national security threat, and that we cannot wait for 100% certainty before acting to mitigate and adapt to its effects. But not only do they understand it, they plan for it – considering it’s implications in strategic documents like the Quadrennial Defense Review, and setting up an office within the CIA called the Center for Climate Change and National Security. But why? (more…)