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UPDATE: Climate Security 101: Why the U.S. National Security Establishment Takes Climate Change Seriously

800px-2013_colorado_floods_natl_guardThis is an update to the Center for Climate and Security’s 2012 briefer.  A PDF version of this update can also be found here

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.” (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…)

The Climate-Water-Energy Security Nexus in Central Asia

Sangtuda_1By Svetlana Valieva, Fellow, Center for Climate and Security

As the international community observed the UN World Water Day last Friday, March 22, two Central Asian countries were part of important talks at UN Headquarters in New York concerning water-sharing. Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have been engaged in a dispute over the building of a reservoir-type Rogun hydroelectric power plant in Tajikistan, which Uzbekistan has contended would disrupt flow to downstream countries, including itself. Uzbekistan, a country never absent from important meetings on water issues, proposed an alternative to the Rogun project involving the construction of smaller hydroelectric plants, which would bypass or avoid changes to the stream-flow regime. These talks bring attention to a broader nexus of water, climate and energy security in Central Asia that is worth watching closely by both regional leaders and the international community. (more…)

Philippines: Climate Change a Top Priority in 2013

Typhoon_Ketsana_accumulated_rainfall_in_PhilippinesAlertNet reports that the Filipino government intends to implement a series of climate change policies in 2013, building off the creation of the People’s Survival Fund last year, a $24.5 million program designed to “implement local climate change action plans to make communities more resilient to climate-induced disasters.” While the allocation of funds is yet to occur, indications are that President Benigno Aquino III is placing climate change at the very top of the country’s agenda. (more…)

The Role of Climate Change in Decimating Grain Stocks

IDL TIFF fileAs reported by EPI yesterday, global grain stocks dropped “dangerously low” in 2012, largely as a result of droughts that “devastated several major crops—namely corn in the United States (the world’s largest crop) and wheat in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Australia.” What makes these lows very dangerous is that consumption of grains are significantly outpacing production. Demand is growing, while more and more crops are withering in the sun. (more…)

U.S. Drought Worsens

Parched_ground_-_Flickr_-_Al_Jazeera_EnglishClimate Central’s Andrew Freedman recently reported on the U.S. Drought Monitor’s latest numbers, which reveal that “all categories of drought increased across the country between Nov. 20-27, with the largest increase occurring in an area from Alabama northeastward to Virginia.” Freedman also reports on a recent statement by Deutsche Bank Securities’ chief U.S. economist, Joseph LaVorgna, who predicted that “the drought will be responsible for a 0.5 to 1 percent drop in U.S. gross domestic product this year, a significant drop considering the relatively slow pace of growth throughout the year.”

Also, as we have written previously, the drought may have worrying security implications for other countries that are tied to the U.S. through the global food market. And given that a number of these countries have themselves experienced major droughts recently (Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Spain, Argentina), this prolonged U.S. drought could have serious global consequences.

CIA Reorients its Climate Change Analysis

E&E reporter Annie Snider wrote this week on recent changes in the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s climate change analysis infrastructure (the story was also picked up by the New York Times). The headline of the story emphasizes the closure of the CIA’s Center on Climate Change and National Security, but sources for the story seemed to suggest that this most likely represents a reorientation in where the CIA houses its climate analysis, and in what context, rather than a scaling back. As reported by Snider: (more…)