Climate Change Could Weaken National Security

Failure to sufficiently address the projected impact of climate change could present potential security risks, serving as threat multipliers and as “catalysts for instability and conflict,” particularly in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, according to a May 2014 report by the Center for Naval Analyses military advisory board. The report found that “projected impacts to climate change could be detrimental to military readiness, strain base resilience both at home and abroad, and may limit our ability to respond to future demands.” Because more forces will be called upon to respond to natural disasters, they will be less prepared to respond to security threats at home and abroad, states the report. The projected climate changes also will impact training and will put at risk several logistical and infrastructure systems. The board consists of 16 retired three- and four-star admirals and general officers, including retired Air Force officers Gen. Don Hoffman, former commander of Air Force Materiel Command; Gen. Chuck Wald, former deputy commander of US European Command; Gen. Ron Keys, former Air Combat Command boss; Lt. Gen. Ken Eickmann, former commander of US Air Force Aeronautical Systems Center; Lt. Gen. Larry Farrell, former deputy chief of staff for plans and programs on the Air Staff. The report was an update to the board’s 2007 findings. (CNA full report; Caution, large-sized file.) (2007 CNA report; caution, large-sized file.) (White House National Climate Assessment.)