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By John Conger
Part 1 of 4 in the Climate Security Plan for America Blog Series
In late 2019, the Center for Climate and Security-led Climate Security Advisory Group, a group of senior U.S. national security and military experts, including eight retired four-star generals and admirals, published the A Climate Security Plan for America. These leaders outlined a comprehensive plan to elevate climate change as a security priority and offered recommendations in four broad categories. This blog discusses the first, Demonstrating Leadership.
As we stated in the report, we believed that in order to successfully counter climate security challenges, it must be an articulated priority of the U.S. President. Check. President-elect Biden has repeated often that he seeks to make climate change “a core national security priority.” He named former Secretary Kerry as his “climate envoy” with a seat on the National Security Council. For his own part, Secretary Kerry’s initial comments on his new role have focused on the security threat posed by climate change.(more…)
By Kate Guy
From the outset of Joe Biden’s run for the American presidency, he pledged to look at national security with fresh eyes. Evolving systemic threats like climate change, often relegated to the portfolios of environmental experts and science agencies, were repeatedly mentioned in his plans to remake U.S. defense and foreign policy. “Climate change is the existential threat to humanity,” he often reiterated in the closing days of his campaign.
Now, with the first members of President-elect Biden’s national security team announced, it’s clear that he has taken the first steps to make good on these campaign promises. In the past few years, nominees like Blinken, Sullivan, and Haines have each referenced the need for the U.S. to prioritize addressing climate change in its approach to global challenges. And with the creation of a cabinet-level Presidential Climate Envoy, long-time climate security leader John Kerry will sit in every meeting of the National Security Council with his eye trained on climate threats.(more…)
A Very Strong Signal: 5 Key Takeaways on John Kerry’s Climate Envoy Role and Seat on the National Security Council
On Monday, President-Elect Biden announced several members of his national security team. They included Anthony Blinken as Secretary of State, Alejandro Mayorkas as Secretary of Homeland Security, Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence, Linda Thomas-Greenfield as United Nations Ambassador, Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor, and… former Secretary of State John Kerry as the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. While each of these announcements have positive implications for how climate change is addressed by the national security enterprise, let’s explore five key implications of this last announcement.(more…)
Over the past four years, the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) has operated a working group to examine the convergence of two of the world’s greatest challenges: nuclear threats and climate change. Whether countries significantly expand reliance on nuclear energy to help address the climate crisis—or whether they pivot away from nuclear energy—either pathway will have a profound impact on future nuclear safety, security, and nonproliferation trends. The strength and contours of international political will to aggressively address the climate crisis will in turn shape nuclear trends.
Read the briefer here.