Daily Archives: September 24, 2018

Issue Brief: The National Security Impacts of Climate Change | White Papers | EESI

Table Of Contents

In its 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) officially recognized climate change as a factor worthy of consideration in future national security planning. The report stated, “Climate change and energy are two key issues that will play a significant role in shaping the future security environment,” noting that “climate change, energy security, and economic stability are inextricably linked.” The report goes on to describe the vast geopolitical impacts of climate change anticipated by the intelligence community, including sea level rise, increasing temperatures, food and water scarcity, the proliferation of disease vectors, and the risk of mass migration by vulnerable populations to escape these impacts. These risks led DOD to declare that “while climate change alone does not cause conflict, it may act as an accelerant of instability or conflict, placing a burden to respond on civilian institutions and militaries around the world.” The department’s leaders recognized that the United States’ existing role in responding to extreme weather events, delivering humanitarian assistance, and preserving national security would be made all the more difficult by climate change.

Since DOD’s public call to action, the department has worked to better integrate climate risk across its operations and long-term planning. DOD has also pursued climate mitigation and adaptation measures in accordance with a broad set of Executive Branch initiatives designed to move the entire U.S. government towards a lower carbon footprint, more efficient resource consumption, and improved resilience against extreme weather events. The institutionalization of climate adaptation and mitigation measures has transformed how the department does business and has resulted in a more sustainable and agile military. Responsibilities for these measures have been distributed across the Pentagon for development and implementation and have been outlined in numerous memos, reports, and other official guidance. In addition, each of the five service branches has established its own clean energy goals to be achieved through physical infrastructure upgrades, as well as training to adjust behaviors and risk perception among its personnel.

This issue brief will cover the ways the U.S. military defines climate change risks and the subsequent challenges DOD will likely face going forward. Specific examples of global and domestic impacts and consequences are also explored. In addition, a high-level accounting of DOD and Congressional actions on climate and security is provided.

PDF of Full Issue Brief – (with hypertexted references)

The National Security Implications of Climate Change, June 5, 2017 – Sherri Goodman

The Center for Climate and Security (CCS), the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, held a briefing discussing the role of climate change as a “threat multiplier” in the geopolitical landscape and the implications that has for U.S. national security. The briefing explored the risk management and planning considerations facing the Department of Defense (DOD) as it seeks to maintain force readiness and bolster infrastructure resilience. The panel also discussed the need for investments in preventive measures today to prepare for future needs concerning disaster assistance, the Arctic, and the displacement of vulnerable populations due to climate change. Speakers for this forum included members of the CCS Advisory Board.

Full session:

 

How Can Cities Become More Resilient to Extreme Weather?

eesionline

Published on Sep 14, 2017

More information: http://www.eesi.org/briefings/view/09…

Mayors are on the front lines when natural disasters and other catastrophic events threaten lives and property. The National League of Cities (NLC) and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a briefing about what cities throughout the United States are doing to protect their communities by investing in resilience.

SPEAKERS: William Peduto Mayor, City of Pittsburgh (PA) Skip to presentation: https://youtu.be/omZPumGlyak?t=5m26s

Nicole Antonopoulos Woodman Sustainability Manager, City of Flagstaff (AZ) Skip to presentation: https://youtu.be/omZPumGlyak?t=17m32s

Download Slides: http://www.eesi.org/files/091117_Nico…

Cooper Martin Program Director, Sustainable Cities Institute, National League of Cities Skip to presentation: https://youtu.be/omZPumGlyak?t=30m7s

Download Slides: http://www.eesi.org/files/091117_Coop…

Q&A Session: https://youtu.be/omZPumGlyak?t=45m21s

Infrastructure dollars are only part of the story. Equally important is funding for planning that accounts for new weather patterns with more severe impacts than we’ve seen in the past and preemptive action to keep people and structures safe and functional. Coordinating land use; updating building codes; and strengthening social networks, lifelines and communications are just a few examples.
These investments are resulting in additional community benefits: lower monthly expenses for households, businesses, and the city itself; the protection and restoration of natural resources; and local economic growth and job creation. The United States is experiencing more heat waves, more heavy downpours, more floods, and more droughts, according to the 2014 National Climate Assessment. Tropical cyclones cause the most damage—more than $580 billion since 1980, followed by droughts ($232 billion), severe storms ($200 billion), and inland flooding ($118 billion). More than 9,600 Americans have lost their lives in the 212 largest weather disasters since 1980.

Certainly the enormous disaster in Texas is weighing heavily on the hearts of Americans across the country. This briefing’s speakers showcased some of the concrete, actionable steps their cities are taking to reduce their vulnerability to extreme weather and the costly and deadly impacts of these events, and shared lessons learned. Selected as one of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities in 2014, Pittsburgh was able to hire a Chief Resilience Officer, who is tasked with implementing the city’s resilience plan. In 2012, Flagstaff, AZ, completed its Resiliency and Preparedness Study to assess the vulnerability of 115 of its critical, weather-impacted operations and has begun work on a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. NLC’s Leadership in Community Resilience Program provided technical assistance in 10 cities to help strengthen local resilience initiatives

This briefing was the fourth in a series in partnership with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) on “Building Resilient and Secure Infrastructure.” Other briefings will examine building materials and methods, the role of national labs and federal R&D spending, and coastal resilience.

U.S. Department of Defense Sees Climate Change as a National Security Risk


eesionline
Published on Aug 9, 2018

The Department of Defense has officially recognized climate change as a factor worthy of consideration in national security planning. A Pentagon report notes that “climate change, energy security, and economic stability are inextricably linked.” See EESI’s issue brief for more information: https://www.eesi.org/papers/view/issu…

The Climate and Security Advisory Group: A Responsibility to Prepare « The Center for Climate & Security

The Climate and Security Advisory Group (CSAG): “A Responsibility to Prepare – Strengthening National and Homeland Security in the Face of a Changing Climate”

The CSAG, a voluntary, non-partisan group of 54 U.S.-based military, national security, homeland security, intelligence and foreign policy experts from a broad range of institutions, is chaired by the Center for Climate and Security in partnership with the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. On February 2018, the group released a new roadmap and recommendations report calling on the U.S. government to to follow the advice of Defense Secretary James Mattis, who argued for a “whole-of-government response” to climate change during his confirmation process.

The report notes that given the threats of climate change identified by the defense, national security and intelligence communities, a rise in destructive climate-driven impacts on the U.S., and an increased capacity to foresee these risks, the U.S. government has a “Responsibility to Prepare” to address these challenges at home and abroad. Specifically, the group recommends that the Administration do so through three lines of effort: Assess, Prepare, and Support.

Assess climate change risks to national and homeland security
Bottom line up front: Maintain and improve systems and processes for better understanding and assessing climate change risks to national and homeland security.

Prepare for climate change risks to national and homeland security
Bottom line up front: Bolster the resilience of critical military and civilian infrastructure to climate change risks, and better organize and resource the U.S. government to manage those risks.

Support allied and partner nation resilience to climate change risks
Bottom line up front: Maintain U.S. leadership by supporting allied and partner nation resilience to climate change risks in strategically-significant regions, and by reducing climate drivers of instability.

Click here for the full report.

 

The National Security Implications of Climate Change


eesionline
Published on Jun 5, 2017

For more information: http://www.eesi.org/briefings/view/06…

Speakers for this forum are members of the Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board: Hon. John Conger Former Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller); Senior Advisor, Center for Strategic and International Studies Skip to presentation: https://youtu.be/YwoKxsIDf4k?t=5m57s

Hon. Sherri Goodman Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security); Senior Fellow, Wilson Center Skip to presentation: https://youtu.be/YwoKxsIDf4k?t=11m37s

General Ron Keys United States Air Force (Ret); Former Commander, Air Combatant Command Skip to presentation: https://youtu.be/YwoKxsIDf4k?t=23m38s

Brigadier General Gerald Galloway United States Army (Ret); Former Dean of the Academic Board, U.S. Military Academy at West Point Skip to presentation: https://youtu.be/YwoKxsIDf4k?t=34m53s

Rear Admiral Ann Phillips United States Navy (Ret); Former Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group TWO Skip to presentation: https://youtu.be/YwoKxsIDf4k?t=42m37s

Question & Answer Session https://youtu.be/YwoKxsIDf4k?t=49m9s

The Center for Climate and Security (CCS), the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, held a briefing discussing the role of climate change as a “threat multiplier” in the geopolitical landscape and the implications that has for U.S. national security. The briefing explored the risk management and planning considerations facing the Department of Defense (DOD) as it seeks to maintain force readiness and bolster infrastructure resilience. The panel also discussed the need for investments in preventive measures today to prepare for future needs concerning disaster assistance, the Arctic, and the displacement of vulnerable populations due to climate change.

As a “threat multiplier,” climate change serves as a contributing factor to amplify and worsen stressors that can lead to conflict, such as food and water scarcity, poverty, political instability, and social tensions. In its 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, DOD designated climate change as a crucial factor to consider in future national security planning, stating that “climate change, energy security, and economic stability are inextricably linked.” DOD has worked to better integrate these risks across its operations, while reducing its carbon footprint and adapting its facilities to withstand sea level rise and extreme weather events. The institutionalization of climate policies has transformed how DOD does business and has resulted in a more resilient and agile military, enabling it to meet its mission goals more efficiently and effectively. These policies have been adopted across the Department’s five service branches. We thank the Henry M. Jackson Foundation and the David Rockefeller Fund for their support of this event.

Hon. Sherri Goodman

Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security); Senior Fellow, Wilson Center

Briefings:

[View The National Security Implications of Climate Change Video]

Sherri-goodman2

Hon. Sherri Goodman, Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security); Senior Fellow, Wilson Center

  • National security policymaking has a long bipartisan tradition, dating back to environmental concerns in the Cold War period.
  • Science, research, technology, and development are core components of national security and undergird our understanding of the threats we face. Goodman cited the billions of dollars spent to prepare and prevent a nuclear strike from the Soviet Union, and said that climate change has equally high consequences and is a higher probability threat.
  • In the last two decades, it’s become very clear that climate change is a significant threat to America’s national security. One example of this is in the Arctic, where a whole new ocean has been opened up due to rapid melting of sea ice. This now requires an increased capability to operate there to respond to a potential rush for resources that would bring both opportunities and risk.
  • U.S. military forces need to be positioned to respond to an increasing number of climate-related risks, such as sea level rise and heavy storms in the Asia-Pacific as well as desertification and drought in the Middle East.
  • Another major concern is the security of military installations at home, particularly along the Atlantic coast. They are at risk due to a combination of sea level rise, storm surge, and coastal erosion. The infrastructure of these military bases needs to be hardened and secured against these threats. Since these bases are part of the community (and depend on it for key supplies and manpower), this requires the building of more resilient communities.
  • Goodman stated that while Sec. Mattis’s statements on the record in support of climate action are important, they need to be communicated throughout DoD and heard “on Capitol Hill, at all levels of command, in all parts of the services, and throughout the U.S. government” so agencies can continue to plan.

Further Biographic information