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Security Highlights from the Leaders Summit on Climate
Last week’s Leaders Summit on Climate made history for many reasons — because of the number of new commitments on cutting emissions, its virtual nature, the focus on environmental justice, and that climate security was included at a level never before seen on the global stage. The big news out of the summit was President Biden’s announcement of a new target for the United States to achieve a 50 to 52 percent reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution in 2030. This step is in line with our call in the 2019 A Security Threat Assessment of Global Climate Change for “the world to achieve net-zero emissions as soon as possible in a manner that is ambitious, safe, equitable, and well governed, in order to avoid severe and catastrophic security futures.”
More specific to climate security risks already underway, US Secretary of Defense Austin led a session focused on identifying climate security risks and reiterating existing promises for combating them. While this administration has done more than any other towards elevating climate security as a foreign policy priority, it’s now time to move from talk to action–toward realigning priorities, strategies and missions to meet the climate security threat. The discussion led by Secretary Austin revealed multiple pathways to do so — and an international community that welcomes US leadership on the topic. Three of the key takeaways on which to build are as follows:(more…)
UK publishes new Climate-Defence Roadmap
This is a cross-post from The Planetary Security Initiative
The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) published a new roadmap on how to address the impacts of climate change on the activities of the armed forces. The ambition outlined is to enhance the resilience of the army’s operations and assets, whilst also creating a more sustainable and environmentally focused culture within the wider defence sector. Lieutenant-General Richard Nugee, who spoke at the webinar on climate security hosted by the PSI and British Embassy in the Netherlands last month, was tasked by the MoD to assess the readiness of the British armed forces to climate considerations. The publication of the report led to the roadmap, which outlines three core focuses for climate-reform within the military with targets set by 2050:(more…)
A Climate Change Framework for the UK’s Ministry of Defence – Lessons for NATO?
The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) recently commissioned RAND Europe to examine climate change’s effects on MOD’s activities, and its attendant security implications, to assist the MOD in creating an updated climate change strategy. This examination produced a proposed framework for MOD’s leaders to use for assessing climate change risks to its mission, as well as multiple policy recommendations for addressing the challenges and seizing the opportunities climate change presents to the MOD, as it executes its global strategic mission now and out to 2035. (more…)
General Carleton-Smith: British Army Should Develop Non-Fossil Fuel Dependent Vehicles
By Marc Kodack
In an article published today, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, Chief of the British General Staff, said the current generation of tactical vehicles may be the last to be powered by fossil fuels. Benefits to ending this dependence on fossil fuels would be logistical, e.g. reduce the logical tail risk, and put the British Army on “the right side of the environmental argument,” he noted. He called on British industry to develop the next generation of vehicles that are simultaneously “battle winning but also environmentally sustainable.” Doing so would also assist in influencing the career decisions of future recruits who may consider “prospective employer’s environmental credentials.”