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VIDEO and Summary: UN Security Council Meeting on Climate and Security

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Caitlin Werrell, Co-Founder and President of the Center for Climate and Security, briefs the UN Security Council on a Responsibility to Prepare agenda, December 15, 2017

On December 15, 2017, the UN Security Council (UNSC) hosted an “Arria” meeting titled ‘Preparing for the security implications of rising temperatures.’ Click here for a full video of the event, and here for a backgrounder. As noted in a previous post, the meeting was chaired by Italy, and co-hosted with Sweden, Morocco, the UK, the Netherlands, Peru, Japan, France, the Maldives and Germany. Briefers included Halbe Zijlstra, Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Caitlin Werrell, Co-founder and President of the Center for Climate and Security (CCS). Caitlin Werrell, at the invitation of the meeting’s co-hosts, presented a Responsibility to Prepare agenda framework for elevating international attention to the security implications of climate change in an age of unprecedented risk and unprecedented foresight (read her prepared remarks here). (more…)

Event: UN Security Council Meeting on Climate and Security

UN_security_council_2005The UN Security Council (UNSC) is hosting an “Arria” meeting today titled ‘Preparing for the security implications of rising temperatures.’ Click here for the livestream at 3pm EST, and here for the official announcement. The meeting, co-hosted by Italy, Sweden, Morocco, the UK, the Netherlands, Peru, Japan, France, the Maldives and Germany, aims to facilitate a practical discussion about the tools the UN requires to address the security implications of climate change. Briefers for the meeting include Halbe Zijlstra, Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Caitlin Werrell, Co-founder and President of the Center for Climate and Security (CCS). Caitlin Werrell, at the invitation of the meeting’s co-hosts, will be presenting its Responsibility to Prepare agenda framework for elevating international attention to the security implications of climate change. The framework calls for the climate-proofing of all security institutions at international, regional and national levels. (more…)

While World Leaders Gather to Talk Climate, DOD Steps Up Effort To Fight Wildfires

A U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter assigned to the 1st Battalion, 140th Aviation Regiment, California Army National Guard conducts annual helicopter bucket training at Irvine Lake, Calif., April 5, 2014, to prepare for wildfire season

A U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter assigned to the 1st Battalion, 140th Aviation Regiment, California Army National Guard conducts annual helicopter bucket training at Irvine Lake, Calif., April 5, 2014, to prepare for wildfire season

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Northern Command issued a press release yesterday announcing its continued assistance to support firefighting efforts in California. This is in addition to the on-going efforts by DOD and the National Guard throughout the summer. The press releases noted the following:

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., Sept. 22, 2014 – Two Department of Defense C-130 aircraft equipped with U.S. Forest Service Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems and under the command and control of U.S. Northern Command will be assisting with wildfire suppression efforts in California and the Northwest Geographic Area at the request of the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, Northcom officials said in a news release issued yesterday.

The full release can be found here. (more…)

Afghanistan: Addressing the Climate Threat Despite Instability

According to the Environment News Service, the Afghan government, in partnership with the United Nations, has launched a “US $6 million initiative” to build the country’s resilience to climate change – a first for the country.

Given Afghanistan’s heavily agricultural economy (the director of Afghanistan’s National Environmental Protection Agency asserts that 79% of the country is engaged in agricultural activities), and the water security implications of climate change (increases in the intensity and frequency of drought and floods, the unpredictable variability of rainfall, and soil erosion), the program will focus on adapting the country’s water infrastructure to a changing climate:

Improved water management and water use efficiency as well as community-based watershed management are among the ways the program will strengthen resilience to climate change.

The lesson here? If Afghanistan can do it…

Climate Change in Iraq: Watch This Space

Just spotted this great two-page UN fact sheet on climate change in Iraq. Though it’s not often discussed in the media, Iraq is “one of the Arab region’s most vulnerable countries to climate change.” On top of an increasingly variable climate, the country is experiencing severe water shortages and desertification from damaging farming practices and water resource mismanagement (not to mention continued political and economic instability). As the country reconstructs itself after a decade of conflict, building resilience to rapid changes in the climate will be of critical importance, and may also offer opportunities for peace-building. Watch this space.