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As we look toward a new Administration in the United States, and the path forward on addressing the myriad threats in a rapidly-changing geostrategic landscape, it’s worth having a clearer understanding of how the U.S. national security community has come to  its current level of concern about climate change. This concern didn’t happen overnight, or under a single administration. Rather, it’s the culmination of decades of assessments stretching back to the end of the Cold War.

In popular discourse, it’s often assumed that climate change is a brand new issue for the national security world – an interloping latecomer. The truth is that it’s not. The U.S. military has been concerned about climate change since the George W. Bush Administrationat the latest, but military institutions such as the Naval War College have been warning policy-makers since 1990, during the first Bush Administration. The intelligence community has also been in the game since the early 1990s, with the establishment of the MEDEA program – a structured collaboration between climate scientists and U.S. intelligence agencies – and has been releasing intelligence estimates on the national security implications of climate change since 2008, under the direction of then Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Dr. Thomas Fingar.

To clarify the historical record on this subject, we are therefore posting below an updated chronology of US Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC) products that explicitly address the climate change threat. A broader look at other national and international security documents addressing climate risks can be found on the Climate Security Chronology and Resource Hub.

Department of Defense

2016: 2016 Special Issue: Climate Change and Policy, Marine Corps University Journal

2016: DoD Directive 4715.21: Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience. U.S. Department of Defense

2016: Joint Publication 1-02: Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. U.S. Department of Defense

2016: Regional Sea Level Scenarios for Coastal Risk Management: Managing the Uncertainty of Future Sea Level Change and Extreme Water Levels for Department of Defense Coastal Sites Worldwide, U.S. Department of Defense

2015: El Nino: Potential Asia Pacific Impacts: U.S. Pacific Command

2015: DoD Instruction 3200.21 “Sustaining Access to the Live Training Domain”: U.S. Department of Defense

2015: National Security Implications of Climate-Related Risks and a Changing Climate [Report to Congress on Geographic Combatant Command responses to climate risks], U.S. Department of Defense

2015: A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower, U.S. Department of the Navy/ United States Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard

2015: Department of Defense Annual Energy Management Report FY 2014, U.S. Department of Defense

2014: Department of Defense Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan FY2014, U.S. Department of Defense

2014: Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, U.S. Department of Defense

2014: “National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change,” CNA Corporation

2014: USCENTCOM, Climate Change Assessment, QDR, U.S. Department of Defense

2014: Quadrennial Defense Review, U.S. Department of Defense

2014: US Navy Arctic Roadmap, U.S. Department of the Navy

2013: DoDM 4715.03, Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP) Implementation Manual, Department of Defense

2013: US Coast Guard Arctic Strategy, U.S. Coast Guard

2013: SERDP, Assessing Impacts of Climate Change on Coastal Military Installations: Policy Implications

2013: 2013 Addendum to the FY2012 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap: Department of Defense

2013: Arctic Strategy: Department of Defense

2013: OMB Scorecard on Sustainability/ Energy: Department of Defense

2012: Department of Defense FY 2012 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap: Department of Defense

2012: Department of Defense Strategic Sustainability and Performance Plan FY2012: Department of Defense

2011-2012: Key Strategic Issues List: U.S. Army War College

2011: DoDI 4715.03, Natural Resources Conservation Program: Department of Defense

2011: Department of Defense Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan FY2011: Department of Defense

2011: Incorporating Sea Level Change Considerations in Civil Works Programs: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

2011: Defense Science Board Task Force Report: Trends and Implications of Climate Change for National and International Security: Department of Defense

2011: The National Military Strategy of the United States of America: Redefining America’s Military Leadership: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

2011: National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces: Naval Studies Board, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

2010: Quadrennial Defense Review Report: Department of Defense

2010: The Joint Operating Environment, Ready for Today, Preparing for Tomorrow: United States Joint Forces Command

2010: Climate Change Impacts and AFRICOM: A Briefing Note: Institute for Defense Analyses, Christine Youngblut

2010: Strategic Sustainability and Performance Plan FY2010: Department of Defense

2010: U.S. Navy Climate Change Road Map: Task Force Climate Change, Department of the Navy

2009: DoDI 40170.11, Installation Energy Management: Department of Defense

2009: US Navy Arctic Roadmap: U.S. Department of the Navy

2009: Taking Up the Security Challenge of Climate Change: U.S. Army War College

2009: Climate Change Effects: Issues for International and US National Security: Institute for Defense Analyses, Christine Youngblut

2009: Two Degrees of Separation: Abrupt Climate Change and the Adverse Impact to US National Security: Air Command and Staff College

2008: National Defense Strategy: Department of Defense

2008: The Joint Operating Environment, Trends and Challenges for the Future Joint Force Through 2030United States Joint Forces Command

2007: A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Sea Power: Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard

2007: National Security and the Threat of Climate Change: CNA Military Advisory Board

2003: An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security: DoD Office of Net Assessment

2003: Weather Operations in the Transformation Era. John M. Lanicci, Air War College Maxwell Paper No. 29 (Maxwell AFB: Air University Press 2003)

2003: Global Warming Could Have a Chilling Effect on the Military. National Defense University

1990: Global Climate Change Implications for the United States: U.S. Navy War College

 

Intelligence Community

2016: National Intelligence Council: Memorandum – Implications for US National Security of Anticipated Climate Change

2016: Director of National Intelligence: “Statement for the Record, Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community, Senate Armed Services Committee.”

2015: Director of National Intelligence: “Statement for the Record, Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community, Senate Armed Services Committee.”

2014: The National Intelligence Strategy of the United States of America

2014: Director of National Intelligence: “Statement for the Record, Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.”

2013: National Intelligence Council Report: “Natural Resources in 2020, 2030, and 2040: Implications for the United States.” (July 25)

2013: Director of National Intelligence: “Statement for the Record, Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence”

2013: Director of National Intelligence: “Remarks as delivered by James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, Worldwide Threat Assessment to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence”

2012: National Intelligence Council: “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds”

2012: National Research Council: “Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis,” commissioned by the Central Intelligence Agency

2012: DNI Intelligence Community Assessment, “Global Water Security”

2012: Climate Extremes: Recent Trends With Implications for National Security, Harvard University, funded by the Central Intelligence Agency

2011: DNI Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community

2010: DNI Annual Threat Assessment of the Intelligence Community

2009: DNI Annual Threat Assessment of the Intelligence Community

2009: The National Intelligence Strategy of the United States of America

2009: National Intelligence Council: The Impact of Climate Change to 2030.  Commissioned Research and Conference Reports

– China: The Impact of Climate Change to 2030 (NIC-2009-02D)

– India: The Impact of Climate Change to 2030 (NIC-2009-03D)

– Russia: The Impact of Climate Change to 2030 (NIC-2009-04D)

– Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands: The Impact of Climate Change to 2030   (NIC-2009-06D)

– North Africa: The Impact of Climate Change to 2030 (NIC-2009-07D)

– Mexico, The Caribbean, and Central America: The Impact of Climate Change to 2030 (NIC-2009-11D)

2008: National Intelligence Assessment (NIA) on the National Security Implications of Climate Change to 2030. Statement for the Record of Dr. Thomas Fingar, Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis and Chairman of the National Intelligence Council. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

2008: National Intelligence Council and Director of National Intelligence, Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World

1993: MEDEA program established

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The Business of Risk: Climate and Resilience

by Arturo Herrera on December 16, 2016

11c51c03-7925-4a40-9668-5f5629a0e04cClimate change poses serious and novel risks to businesses of all types and sizes – from supply and chain disruptions, to changes in national and international regulation, to shifting expectations of employees and customers. This webinar explored the implications of climate risk for business. Experts from among the companies most advanced in resilience thinking shared their views of how climate risk has changed their firms’ products, services, and ways of doing business-and how to weigh the costs of acting on climate against the risks of not preparing.

The Business of Risk;Climate and Resilience from Security & Sustainability Forum on Vimeo.

Dr. Ann Goodman Dr. Ann Goodman

Moderator Ann Goodman is the author of Adapting to Change: The Business of Climate Resilience, explored emerging business approaches to climate resilience. Dr. Goodman is a Faculty Affiliate at CUNY Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC)’s, Environmental Sciences Initiative. She has 25 years of international experience in the intersecting fields of business, sustainability, climate, risk assessment, strategic resilience planning- as an executive, entrepreneur, communicator and educator.

Ann Goodman

 

Download the slides here 

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Restoring the Carbon Balance- Session 2: The technologies

by Arturo Herrera on December 15, 2016

February 1, 2016  1:00 to 2:30 PM EST   REGISTER at http://bit.ly/2gMlfVB

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The capacity of the Earth’s atmosphere to safely hold excess carbon without too much warming is  limited. The situation is growing more urgent. Even after the December 2015 Climate Conference in Paris, the pace to transform economies away from dumping fossil carbon into the atmosphere will likely be too slow to achieve the goal of holding the temperature increase to two degrees Celsius.

Unless that pace is dramatically accelerated, the planet will almost certainly  exceed its “carbon budget” within two decades, if it hasn’t already. This concern has led the   International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to conclude that Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs), which remove CO2 from the air, will be needed to meet climate  goals.  However, NETs are still in the research, development or demonstration stages of commercialization and may not be ready in time, or feasible at the necessary scale. That poses a conundrum.  Technologies cannot develop without policy drivers; policy cannot lead the way without the assurance of demonstrably affordable and scalable technologies. 

Join Arizona State University’ Global institute of Sustainability and the Security and Sustainability Forum in the second in a  three-part series where leading experts will address the research, policies, economics and accountability needed to  “Restore the Carbon Budget”.

 Joel Makower, Executive Director of GreenBiz, will moderate the second webinar on Negative Emissions

Technologies in the three-part “Restoring the Carbon Balance” webinar series.

He will be joined by Klaus Lackner, Director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University and Susan Hovorka, Senior Research Scientist at the Bureau of

Susan Hovorka

Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, at The University of Texas at Austin.

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The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change

by Arturo Herrera on November 28, 2016

The Lancet

The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change is an international, multidisciplinary research collaboration between academic institutions and practitioners across the world.

Announced at COP 22, the Lancet Countdown will track progress on health and climate change.  It follows on from the work of the 2015 Lancet Commission, which concluded that the response to climate change could be “the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century”.  The Lancet Countdown will develop indicators to track the world’s response to climate change, and the health benefits that result.  The Lancet Countdown will actively seek to engage with existing monitoring processes, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and World Health Organization’s climate and health country profiles.  The indicators will also evolve over time through ongoing collaboration with experts and a range of stakeholders, and be dependent on the emergence of new evidence and knowledge.  This is especially relevant to the public health practitioner and public health research communities, because of the collaborative nature of the initiative. Join Island Press, the Public Health Institute and the Security and Sustainability Forum for the US introduction of Countdown.

Lancet Countdown on Public Health and Climate Change from Security & Sustainability Forum on Vimeo. View the slides here

PANELISTS

Ian Hamilton is a Senior Researcher and Sustainable Design Engineer at the UCL Energy Institute, UCL in London, UK., with expertise in energy demand in housing, indoor environmental quality and health impacts.  Ian has also undertaken research and consultancy on evaluating UK government housing and energy policy, environmental masterplanning design and sustainable development, research on energy demand and energy efficiency in buildings and low carbon technologies

 

Peter Byass is a Professor of Global Health at the University of Umeå and is the Director of the Umeå Centre for Global Health Research. He has unique expertise in global health, examining the relationships and synergies between sustainable development and climate change with global health.

Paul English is state environmental epidemiologist and branch scientific advisor for the Environmental Health Investigations Branch at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Paul has more than 15 years of experience working in environmental public health for the CDPH. He focuses on the public health impacts of climate change, and was a World Health Organization advisor contributing to a systematic review of health indicators of climate change.

John M. Balbus, M.D., M.P.H., serves as a senior advisor to the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences on public health issues and as NIEHS’ liaison to its external constituencies, stakeholders, and advocacy groups. He also leads NIEHS efforts on climate change and human health.

 

 

The webinar will be moderated by Linda Rudolph, the Director for the Center for Climate Change and Health, Public Health Institute. Linda was the founding chair of the California Health in All Policies Task Force, and of the California Climate Action Team Public Health Work Group.

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Why Companies Should Care About Biodiversity

by Arturo Herrera on November 19, 2016

8dab86a7-c0b7-40d1-959c-17b2d5ca2dd3Corporations engage in sustainable practices for reasons beyond creating a positive public image. Sustainability practices can also improve profitability and help them comply with emerging regulations. Many companies look outside their own doors for help in making smart choices and maximizing the impact of those choices.

Join SSF and Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability in a free webinar video about how biodiversity thinking benefits companies. The session was led by Leah Gerber, Director of the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes at The Center brings together individuals and groups – from academia, nonprofit, policy and corporate sectors – to achieve common goals of conservation biodiversity and sustainable management of natural resources in the 21st century.

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Why Business Should Care About Biodiversity from Security & Sustainability Forum on Vimeo.

PANELISTS

Leah Gerber, Director of the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes at ASU.  The Center brings together individuals and groups – from academia, nonprofit, policy and corporate sectors – to achieve common goals of conservation biodiversity and sustainable management of natural resources in the 21st century.

 

 Beth Polidoro is an assistant professor of Environmental Chemistry in ASU’s School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. Her primary research interests are in applied toxicology and enviromental assessment within the context of biodiversity conservation, human health, and sustainable development.

 Gabriela Burian is Senior Director, Sustainable Development at Monsanto , responsible for company and key stakeholders integration with Sustainable Agriculture approaches. She leads the adoption of innovative business solutions which optimizes environmental performance (e.g. water, carbon) addressing society’s concerns and established the liaison between the company and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

 Mark Weick serves as Director of the Sustainability Program Office at The Dow Chemical Company. In this role, Mark directs the coordinated planning and implementation of the 2015 Sustainability Goals as well as sustainability integration across the company and business units. Weick is also responsible for directing Dow’s future sustainability strategy as well as the company’s Enterprise Risk Management efforts. He also leads Dow’s global collaboration with The Nature Conservancy on valuing ecosystem services and biodiversity.

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Restoring the Carbon Balance

November 7, 2016

Arizona State University Hosteda Three Webinar Series on “Restoring the Carbon Budget”  The capacity of the Earth’s atmosphere to safely hold excess carbon without too much warming is  limited. The situation is growing more urgent. Even after the December 2015 Climate Conference in Paris, the pace to transform economies away from dumping fossil carbon into the […]

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Read the full article →

Integrating Environment and Health

October 29, 2016

Join the National Council on Science and the Environment and SSF in a 60 minute webinar  as we opened up on some of the issues that will be addressed in NCSE’s January 2017 Annual Conference in Washington D.C. Several of the global leaders from the plenary sessions will bring their perspective to the webinar and preview conference topics including the brilliant Tim […]

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Water is for Fighting Over and other myths about water in the west

September 26, 2016

When We Think of Water in the West, We Think of Conflict and Crisis. But communities have often shown more resilience. In recent years, newspaper headlines have screamed, “Scarce water and the death of California farms,” “The Dust Bowl returns,” “A ‘megadrought’ will grip the U.S. in the coming decades.” Yet similar stories have been appearing for […]

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Healthy Cities in the Era of Climate Change

August 15, 2016

“Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century,” according to the Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change. But here’s the good news.  The same Commission concluded that “Tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century.” Indeed, many of the actions we must take to mitigate climate […]

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Webinar: Biting the Hands That Feed Us – September 27

August 10, 2016

Food waste, hunger, inhumane livestock conditions, disappearing fish stocks-these are exactly the kind of issues we expect food regulations to combat. Yet, today in the United States, laws exist at all levels of government that actually make these problems worse. SSF and  Island Press  had a webinar featuring Baylen Linnekin, author of Biting the Hands that Feed Us, […]

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