Dr. Nicolas Regaud on the Climate and Security Podcast

In the latest episode of The Climate and Security Podcast, host Dr. Sweta Chakraborty talks to Dr. Nicolas Regaud, Special Representative to the Indo-Pacific of the Director General for International Relations and Strategy at the French Ministry of Armed Forces, and Participant in the International Military Council on Climate and Security. Nicolas explains the French point of view on the importance of acting efficiently on climate change, given that there are French nationals and territories all over the world and in areas especially vulnerable to the impacts of a warming planet. The French military plays a critical role in safeguarding its global citizens, neighbors and critical infrastructure against the impacts of climate change; as well as in providing maritime security in close partnership with regional allies. Listen to this episode to learn more about French defense activities globally and in the key warming-affected region of the Indo-Pacific.

The Center for Climate and Security’s video podcast takes climate change out of its environmental box, and brings it to the big kid’s table of national and international security. Featuring a series of exclusive dialogues with leading security, military and foreign affairs experts, the podcast explores our responsibility to prepare for a rapidly-changing world.

Subscribe to the Center for Climate and Security’s YouTube channel to never miss an episode! Or listen to the audio version on iTunes or Stitcher, and subscribe now to get real-time updates. If you’re one of those already subscribed on iTunes, we always welcome your ratings and reviews, as this helps us get the podcast out there to more listeners!

IMCCS Leaders in New Australian Documentary on Climate and Security

Breakthrough, an independent Australian think tank, today released Part One of its new climate and security documentary, Home Front. In it, interviewees from the military, business and humanitarian communities describe the myriad security threats driven by a changing climate, ranging from political instability and economic collapse, to sea level rise risks to Australia’s numerous military installations along its significant coastline.

The 15-minute segment also touches on the controversial climate-migration nexus, which if misinterpreted could feed hyper-nationalist narratives and policies that themselves can have a destabilizing effect on security. However, as one interviewee, John Blackburn AO, Former Deputy Chief of the Royal Australian Airforce, wisely notes:

Simply putting up a barrier, and running around with a few Navy ships and contract ships stopping people coming in boats, might work today, it will not work in ten or fifteen years if what we anticipate with climate change happens.

The documentary also features key experts from the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS), among others.

Sherri Goodman, Secretary General of the IMCCS and
Senior Strategist with the Center for Climate and Security (CCS), notes in the segment that our current response to climate change is not commensurate to its threat profile. Specifically:

In the Cold War, we spent billions of dollars of American GDP to deter and prevent a low probability but very high consequence event of the threat of a bolt out of the blue nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. Today, we face a threat in climate change that is higher probability, and equally high consequence, and yet we are not addressing it with the same alarm and attention.

Dr. Michael Thomas, retired Major in the Australian Army, Participant in the IMCCS and Senior Fellow for Security Sector Education at CCS, highlights the unpreparedness of the Australian Defence Force to deal with cascading, simultaneous disasters resulting from climatic changes, or as he calls it, the “risk of simultaneity.” Full quote:

Consider for example, if we were to have an extreme weather event in the South Pacific, maybe we would have two in the future scenarios. How does the ADF [the Australian Defence Force] actually respond to those two simultaneous events. The military often call this the risk of simultaneity. The ability for the Australian Defence Force to respond to multiple events. Climate change poses such scenarios.

Admiral (Ret) Chris Barrie, former Chief of the Australian Defence Force (Ret), focuses on the connection between climate change and instability, stating:

Instability becomes the term that we use in connection with climate change consequences. But instability means people getting angry and doing something about it.

In all, the interviewees seemed to agree that Australia has a lot more to do in order to comprehensively meet the threat of a changing climate.

To watch the full segment, click here. There’s a short trailer for Part 2 at the end of it.

Louise Van Schaik on the Climate and Security Podcast

In the latest episode of The Climate and Security Podcast, host Dr. Sweta Chakraborty talks to Louise Van Schaik, Senior Member of the Executive Committee of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS). Louise discusses the relationship between climate change, security and migration from a European perspective. She describes the evolution of the Planetary Security Initiative and how it had worked to help reduce and reverse security risks associated with climate change. She emphasizes the importance of identifying and undertaking climate adaptation actions for the purpose of conflict prevention and peace building efforts. Check out the incredible examples Louise provides in this episode!

The Center for Climate and Security’s video podcast takes climate change out of its environmental box, and brings it to the big kid’s table of national and international security. Featuring a series of exclusive dialogues with leading security, military and foreign affairs experts, the podcast explores our responsibility to prepare for a rapidly-changing world.

Subscribe to the Center for Climate and Security’s YouTube channel to never miss an episode! Or listen to the audio version on iTunes or Stitcher, and subscribe now to get real-time updates. If you’re one of those already subscribed on iTunes, we always welcome your ratings and reviews, as this helps us get the podcast out there to more listeners!

The IMCCS on NBC

In an article published on Saturday, NBC News‘ Linda Givetash covered the growing trend of militaries taking concrete steps to address the threat of climate change, including efforts by NATO militaries to enhance energy efficiency in the context of the NATO mission. As Givetash notes, “military officials from 29 countries — including the United States — will test whether energy efficient equipment and hybrid diesel-solar power systems can be easily integrated into their operations in Poland this June.”

For the piece, Givetash highlighted the “newly established International Military Council on Climate and Security“, noting that the IMCCS “aims to bring the impact of climate change on natural disasters and conflicts to the forefront of military strategy.” Givetash spoke with both IMCCS Secretary General Sherri Goodman, and IMCCS Chair General Tom Middendorp. From the article:

Hon. Sherri Goodman: “Militaries are great planning organizations, we need to utilize that great planning capability to get further ahead of the climate threat than we have…”

General Tom Middendorp: “For the military, it’s very important to understand the root causes of a conflict and not deal with the symptoms alone,” he said. “The more that you can address the [root causes], the less you have to fight over it, and it saves lives.”

Click here for the full piece.

General Middendorp on the Climate and Security Podcast

In the latest episode of The Climate and Security Podcast, host Dr. Sweta Chakraborty talks to General Tom Middendorp, Chair of the International Military Council on Climate and Security and former Chief of Defence of the Netherlands. General Middendorp talks about being a commander in South Afghanistan, and how even after driving out the Taliban in one case, conflict persisted due to disputes over the division of water. He describes firsthand experiences from across twenty missions on how climate change and human impacts can amplify war and negate best efforts at peacekeeping. He discusses the importance of cooperation across aid workers, diplomats, policymakers, military coalitions and other stakeholders to pursue stability at a global scale. Tom emphasizes the role defence communities can play in terms of offering opportunities to visionaries to develop ideas such as an innovation that extracts water out of dry, desert air.  Hear this unique perspective – from the former highest-ranking military officer in the Dutch Armed forces – on overcoming the challenges at the nexus of climate and security.

The Center for Climate and Security’s video podcast takes climate change out of its environmental box, and brings it to the big kid’s table of national and international security. Featuring a series of exclusive dialogues with leading security, military and foreign affairs experts, the podcast explores our responsibility to prepare for a rapidly-changing world.

Subscribe to the Center for Climate and Security’s YouTube channel to never miss an episode! Or listen to the audio version on iTunes or Stitcher, and subscribe now to get real-time updates. If you’re one of those already subscribed on iTunes, we always welcome your ratings and reviews, as this helps us get the podcast out there to more listeners!

IMCCS in the News

The announcement of the creation of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) at the Hague on February 19 received international news coverage. Below are four noteworthy articles following the announcement.

U.S. Senate Letter to the President Mentions IMCCS

On February 27th, 14 U.S. Senators delivered a letter to the U.S. President regarding the planned creation of a climate science review panel by the National Security Council. In the letter, the Senators identified the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) as evidence of increasing concerns about climate change from the international security community, stating “…on the very same day the original draft executive order establishing the Presidential Climate Security Committee came to light, senior military leaders from around the world formed the International Military Council on Climate and Security, a network focused on the security impacts of climate change.”

Click here to read the full letter.