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CCS at COP25: Time to Get Serious About Climate and Security Risks to Small Islands

Oliver_CCS_COP Madrid 2019

CCS Senior Research Fellow LCDR Oliver-Leighton Barrett, US Navy (Ret), speaking at the “Climate and Security- emerging trends and adaptive strategies” event at COP25 in Madrid, Spain (December 11, 2019)

The European Union (EU) is taking decisive action on addressing climate change and making it an integral part of its foreign aid strategy. To advance the climate change focused portion of its foreign policy, in 2007 the EU founded the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) with a charter to develop “climate security” strategies that address the strategic and political impacts of climate change. Most specifically, the GCCA aims to strengthen dialogue and cooperation, on climate change with developing countries most vulnerable to the phenomenon, in particular Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

As part of this “dialogue and cooperation” effort, on the afternoon of December 11, 2019, at the U.N. Conference of the Parties 25 (COP25) in Madrid, Spain, the GCCA hosted a climate security focused side event titled “Climate and Security- emerging trends and adaptive strategies.” The event aspired to expand on understanding of the ways in which climate variability interacts with human security by examining themes that included the security implications of ecological changes on SIDS and LDCs. The Center for Climate and Security’s Senior Research Fellow, Lieutenant Commander Oliver Leighton Barrett, US Navy (retired), a former advisor to U.S. Southern Command, was invited to discuss some of these themes with the COP25 audience. (more…)

Top Climate Security Implications for Latin America: A Regional Breakdown

Severe flooding is one of many devastating effects of climate change, as the Caribbean island nation Dominica experienced in 2011. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

Severe flooding is one of many devastating effects of
climate change, as the Caribbean island nation Dominica experienced in
2011. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

By Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett, U.S. Navy (ret) Senior Research Fellow, The Center for Climate and Security

From December 1-12, world leaders are meeting in Lima, Peru to lay the groundwork for a global agreement on climate change. But aside from being a setting for this round of international climate talks, the Latin American region is facing significant security and development threats from climate change that are not often reported.

Climate change is a stressor that will compound, and already is compounding, vexing preexisting developmental challenges across the regions’ states – testing governments to the limits of their capacities and affecting populations in diverse ways. While this “stressor” is becoming better appreciated by development stakeholders, a dimension that is not as well-appreciated is the impact climatic and environmental shifts will have on states’ security in general, and on the operations of regional militaries more specifically. Below is a sub-regional breakdown – a sort of “get to the point” compilation – of the implications of climate change on this growing, dynamic and increasingly relevant region of the globe. The compilation draws from and builds on a joint military assessment I contributed to as a consultant for U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). The geographic categories below reflect a structure commonly used in the U.S defense sector. (more…)

Climate Security in the State Department 2014 U.S. Climate Action Report to the UNFCCC

600px-Department_of_stateThe U.S. State Department has just released its “2014 U.S. Climate Action Report to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.” As announced on the official website:

On January 1, 2014, the Department of State submitted the 2014 U.S. Climate Action Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This report, which includes the First U.S. Biennial Report and Sixth U.S. National Communication to the UNFCCC, details actions the United States is taking domestically and internationally to mitigate, adapt to, and assist others in addressing climate change. (more…)

G8 Releases Statement on Climate Change and Security

G8 foreign ministers, building off the leadership of the German Presidency of the UN Security Council in 2011, issued a joint statement on Thursday recognizing the security implications of climate change. We’ll have more on this later. In the meantime, below is the full statement. (more…)