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To date, the Biden administration appears to be prioritizing work to address the greatest threats to international security and stability, including biological risks, the security implications of climate change, dramatic ecological disruption, and nuclear threats. Analyzing, anticipating, and addressing these issues—and how they intersect and exacerbate one another—are at the core of the mission of the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR).
In anticipation of the administration releasing its first full budget request on May 27th, the CSR team offers the following insights and hopes for what it will contain.(more…)
Ahead of Arctic Council Meeting, New “Story Map” Analysis Outlines Mounting Climate Change Risks to Arctic Security
May 18, 2021 — Today, ahead of Thursday’s Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting, the Council on Strategic Risks’ Converging Risks Lab and the Woodwell Climate Research Center release a new “story map” analysis of the major impacts climate change and permafrost thaw will have on defense infrastructure and security operations in the Arctic. It shows that against a backdrop of regional warming, Arctic nations are increasingly competing alongside the accelerating and dangerous impacts of climate change.
The forthcoming report whose findings are previewed this week in the “story map” analysis titled “Temperatures and Tensions Rise: Security and Climate Risks in the Arctic,” combines the latest climate projections with security analysis. It examine two main trends that will experience significant change in the Arctic and result in new challenges: rapid environmental shifts that will destabilize the region, including loss of sea ice, new temperature extremes, warming oceans, permafrost thaw, and biodiversity changes, and an influx of new human activity, including resource extraction, development, use of new shipping lanes, and military traffic. The story map analysis derived from the forthcoming report includes detailed regional maps overlaying the extent of these climate changes and their future projections alongside increasing human and security activities in the region.
By John Conger
As the Biden Administration rolls out its first budget request, we revisit the fourth and final pillar of the Climate Security Plan for America, Prepare for and Prevent Climate Impacts. In many ways, the policy recommendations in the earlier pillars build to the investments, and the policies that shape investments, that are called for in this section of the report.
In other words, once the Administration has demonstrated leadership by prioritizing climate security as a core element of national security, and it has assessed risks throughout the enterprise to understand what they’re up against, and finally incorporated a global perspective that reflects the principle that climate impacts abroad affect the United States, then what must be done to prepare?
Under the heading of preparing for and preventing the impacts of climate change, the Climate Security Plan for America (CSPA) summarized the challenge this way:
“Facing this future, the U.S. must incorporate climate change considerations into its military requirements, build long-term resiliency into its infrastructure, prioritize climate change threat reduction across the U.S. government, be prepared for global changes where there is no excuse for being surprised, and reduce emissions to prevent catastrophic security consequences.”(more…)
EVENT: Building Climate Resilience at Home – Preparing for and Preventing the Security Impacts of Climate Change
The fourth panel in our series, “Planning for the First 100 Days and Beyond”
May 12, 2021 1 PM -3 PM ET
Update (May 20, 2021): See a video of the event below.
This virtual event hosted by the Center for Climate and Security (CCS), an institute of the Council on Strategic Risks, is the third in our series looking at actions the Biden Administration can take on climate security in its first 100 days and beyond. Building Climate Resilience at Home focuses on the fourth and final pillar of the Climate Security Plan for America (published by CCS and endorsed by dozens of military, foreign policy and intelligence experts, including eight retired four-star generals and admirals), which urges investments in resilient infrastructure, resilient forces, and prevention initiatives. The panel will react to the new Biden Administration budget request and the specific programs they should embrace to prepare for, and to prevent, climate impacts.
Panelists will include:
- John Conger, Director, Center for Climate and Security and former Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)
- Alice Hill, Senior Fellow for Climate Change Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations; Governing Board, Council on Strategic Risks
- RADM (USN, Ret) Ann Phillips, Special Assistant to the Governor of Virginia for Coastal Adaptation and Protection; Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security
- Joan Vandervort, former DoD Deputy Director for Ranges, Sea and Airspace; Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security
For videos of our first three events in this series, see below:
Climate Change: A Core National Security Priority (Dec 15, 2020)