Oct 29

Past Event

The Role of the Military in Climate Change and Security


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The impacts of climate change are increasingly felt and observed around the world, especially in the areas of water resources and food production. Predicted increases in droughts, floods and food shortages hold significant security implications for many nations. Climate Change and the Military, a project launched by a consortium of think tanks in Asia, Europe and North America, examines the challenges caused or exacerbated by the world’s changing climate and seeks to raise the awareness of resulting security threats.

On October 29, the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings, the Institute for Environmental Security, CNA, E3G and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosted a discussion on the real dangers for conflicts and disputes resulting from resource shortages, water rights and natural disasters. The event featured the launch of a call for action at Copenhagen from the project’s Military Advisory Council, a group of senior officers from Bangladesh, Guyana, India, Mauritania, Nepal, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. The call for action warns of the security implications of a failure at Copenhagen and calls upon all governments to ensure that the security implications of climate change are integrated into their respective military strategies. Panelists also addressed the importance of involving the military on an ongoing basis in the struggle against climate change. Case studies on Afghanistan and the melting of the Himalayan glaciers—the "third pole"—were highlighted.

After each panel, participants took audience questions.

Event Agenda

  • 3:00-3:15 pm -- Welcoming Remarks and Introduction

    • Energy Security Initative, " itemprop="jobTitle" /> <a href="http://www.brookings.edu/experts/ebingerc.aspx">Charles Ebinger</a>

      Senior Fellow and Director, Energy Security Initative

  • 3:15-4:15 pm -- Panel 1: Call for Action at Copenhagen

    • Moderator: Wouter Veening

      Co-founder and Chairman / President, Institute for Environmental Security

    • Major General Joseph Singh (ret.)

      Former Chief of Staff, Guyana Defence Force

    • Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti

      Climate and Energy Security Envoy, Ministry of Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom

    • Brigadier General Wendell Christopher King (ret.)

      Dean, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

    • Air Marshall AK Singh (ret.)

      Chair, Military Advisory Council, India

  • 4:15-5:15 pm -- Climate Change and the Military

    • Moderator: Sheri Goodman

      Senior Vice President and General Counsel, CNA

    • Tom Spencer

      Vice Chairman, Institute for Environmental Security, The Hague

    • Stephen O. Andersen

      Co-Chair, Montreal Protocol Technology & Economic Assessment Panel

    • Carol Dumaine

      Deputy Director for Energy & Environmental Security, Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, U.S. Department of Energy

    • Tom Morehouse

      Advisory Board Member, Association of Climate Change Officers

    • Geoffrey Dabelko

      Director, Environmental Change and Security Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars


October 29, 2009

3:00 PM - 5:15 PM EDT

The Brookings Institution

Saul/Zilkha Rooms

1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105