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.
As global temperatures rise, warmer air and oceans are expected to fuel stronger hurricanes, with dangerous consequences.
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.
One of the most pressing—and distressing—climate change impacts faced by the world is storm surge, a storm-induced increase in water level exceeding normal, tidal levels. Storm surge is becoming more of a threat to coastal communities due to rising sea levels, since higher sea levels mean higher “normal, tidal levels” before surge even occurs. Affected communities face risks to their homes, infrastructure, and livelihoods, but what can we do about the problem, aside from abandoning coastal communities altogether?
We live in an urbanizing world. Up to two-thirds of the world’s population – some six billion people – may live in cities by 2050.
Cities have emerged as first responders to climate change because they experience the impacts of natural disasters firsthand and because they produce up to 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
In this speech at the Climate Change and Security: Fragile State Conference, Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, points out the connections between climate change and fragility, drawing on specific country examples. He stresses the need for integrated actions and the potential of Canada.
In a commanding speech at Old Dominion University this week, Secretary Kerry announced a dramatic step toward integrating climate and security into U.S. foreign policy.
“Perhaps I’m a case study for what happens in the federal government when we start on a tough problem,” says Alice Hill, the senior director for resilience policy and the National Security Council and former senior counselor to the secretary of homeland security.