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The New Water Development Report and Implications for Security

WWDR 2020 CoverBy Dr. Marc Kodack

Climate change has and will continue to have both direct and indirect effects around the world. Changes in water will be one of the most visible direct effects, whether it is too little water, such as during prolonged droughts; too much, such as flooding caused by sea-level rise or tropical storms; or misaligned timing, such as when seasonal rains are early or late. Across numerous societies, the climate change-water interaction will be disruptive, but through mitigation and adaptation actions, this interaction can at least be ameliorated. However, these disruptions will also have significant security implications locally, regionally, and globally depending on their intensity, spatial extent, and longevity, and due to their disproportionate effects on different segments of societies. This deteriorating security environment is very likely to increase the vulnerability of affected populations, enhance inequities, and interfere with mitigation and adaptation actions, which will prolong instability. Thus, any security analysis must integrate the effects of climate change on water, and its attendant effects on the vulnerability of populations, to capture a true picture of the security environment. Resources like the newly-released World Water Development Report (WWDR), titled “Water and Climate Change,” should therefore be taken very seriously by the security community.

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

Werrell_UNSC

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…)

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