Stewart M. Patrick, Council on Foreign Relations

The scope of national security is expanding beyond violent threats to encompass a broader array of dangers. In an article for World Politics Review, CFR's Stewart M. Patrick assesses the implications of COVID-19 and climate change for the theory and practice of national security.

Conflict Transformation
Security
South America
Central America & Caribbean
Andrés Bermúdez Liévano, Diálogo Chino

During the past two weeks, Antigua & Barbuda, Nicaragua and Panama ratified the Escazú Agreement, giving a major boost to the unprecedented and innovative Latin American pact that seeks to reduce social conflicts and protect frontline communities in the world’s deadliest region for environmental defenders.

Climate Change
Security
Global Issues
North America
Dana Nuccitelli, Yale Climate Connections

Intelligence analysts have agreed since the late 80s that climate change poses serious security risks. A series of authoritative governmental and non-governmental analyses over more than three decades lays a strong foundation for concern over climate change implications for national security.

Adaptation & Resilience
Climate Change
Security
North America
Nicholas Kusnetz, Inside Climate News

The report, requested by the US Congress in 2017, drew sharp criticism for being too thin on details and failing to show which bases are most at risk across the military.

Climate Change
Early Warning & Risk Analysis
Sub-Saharan Africa
Central America & Caribbean
Oceania & Pacific
Asia
Thoriq Ibrahim, Former Environment and Energy Minister of the Maldives

Small Island States will be facing dramatically higher adaptation costs to build resilience against the kind of impacts the IPCC projects in its most recent Special Report. Thoriq Imbrahim, former Environment and Energy Minister of the Maldives, urges the international community to attend to the political demands of countries particularly exposed to the impacts of climate change and also confront loss and damage with renewed urgency.

Climate Change
Security
Global Issues
North America
Raquel Munayer, adelphi

The Global Climate Action Summit has created a subtle, yet resonating effect on international climate diplomacy. Arguably, its biggest contribution lies in reaffirming the active role of the US in climate action – a refreshing sign of political maturity and environmental responsibility in Trumpian times.

Climate Diplomacy
Security
South America
Central America & Caribbean
Diálogo Chino

Fourteen Latin American and Caribbean countries made history at the UN General Assembly on September 27 by signing the Escazú Agreement, a regional accord on public participation and access to information and justice in environmental affairs. It is the first region-wide agreement of its kind and has been touted a big step forward in recognising the rights of environmental defenders. Signatories now need to ratify the Agreement internally before it can enter into force.

Development
Security
Technology & Innovation
Water
North America
Sabine Blumstein and Benjamin Pohl, adelphi

In November 2017, the U.S. government released its first ever Global Water Strategy – to our knowledge also the first of its kind globally. The opening page cites President Trump claiming that ‘[w]ater may be the most important issue we face for the next generation’. This priority may surprise observers of the current U.S. administration.

Adaptation & Resilience
Climate Change
Early Warning & Risk Analysis
Global Issues
North America
Sabrina Shankman, Inside Climate News

As global temperatures rise, warmer air and oceans are expected to fuel stronger hurricanes, with dangerous consequences.

Climate Change
Early Warning & Risk Analysis
North America
Robert McSweeney and Simon Evans, Carbon Brief

The impacts of Hurricane Harvey continue to be felt in the southern US. The events have sparked early debate over the links between the hurricane and climate change. Commentary from scientists suggests that warming is likely to have intensified its impact. Nevertheless, many other factors are likely to have played a role. These include Houston’s population explosion, continued building in flood-prone areas and subsidence due to groundwater over-extraction, media reports suggest.

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