The Climate and Security Advisory Group (CSAG) - a group of 25 military and national security experts -issued a report detailing the risk that climate change poses to national and international security and setting forth their recommendations for the New Administration.
Last year the Department of Defense (DOD) called climate change a “threat multiplier.” The DOD identified the following areas of global climate change related risks: more recurring floods and droughts, more frequent extreme weather conditions, rising sea levels and decreasing Arctic cover.
The US operates 1774 coastal military installations in the U.S. and around the world which will grow increasing vulnerable to sea level rise and extreme weather.
Recommendations by the CSAG include dedicating a Cabinet-level position to focus on climate change and security concerns, advancing climate-security education, integrating climate into water-sharing agreements, and considering climate and security in conflict avoidance efforts, amongst others.
“It’s hard to energize people now, but it’s too late when the water is around your ankles,” said Ronald Keys, former commander of Air Combat Command.
1. “Response to Congressional Inquiry on National Security Implications of Climate-Related Risks and a Changing Climate,” 23 July 2015, available at http://archive.defense.gov/pubs/150724-congressional-report-on-national-implications-of-climate-change.pdf.
2. “Military experts say climate change poses 'significant risk' to security,” 14 September 2016 available at https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/14/military-experts-climate-change-significant-security-risk.
3. “Climate and Security Advisory Group: Briefing Book for a New Administration,” September 2016 available at https://climateandsecurity.org/briefingbook/.