Climate change is impacting the planet – increasing air and ocean temperatures, causing sea level rise and ocean acidification. Climate impacts in turn will alter freshwater access, food production, human health and infrastructure, posing threats to human security and thus to state and regional security. Since January 2021, the U.S. Government has put the climate crisis at the center of the country’s foreign policy and national security. USINDOPACOM has established its Climate Change Impacts (CCI) program to understand the threats, increase resilience, reduce fragility, and subsequently increase stability throughout the region as part of the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” vision.
Introduction to USINDOPACOM’s Climate Change Impacts Program
Who we are: CCI is a program of the U.S. INDOPACIFIC Command managed by the Center for Excellence for Disaster Management (CFE-DM). It comprises four dedicated staff members and a network of security professionals across the Department of Defense, the U.S. Government and partner nations concerned with managing the security impacts of climate change and resulting needs of affected populations are expected to be a complex dimension of the operating environment.
Background: In January 2021, President Joe Biden issued Executive Order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.” This E.O. put the climate crisis at the center of U.S. foreign policy and national security, and it elevated a focus on climate change across the federal government. In June 2021, the Commander, USINDOPACOM established the Climate Change Impact Program within the Center for Excellence for Disaster Management (CFE-DM).
Our mission: To serve as a trusted source of information and knowledge about the impacts of climate change on security in the Indo-Pacific region, and to serve as a focal point for collaboration with allies and partners to address those impacts and enhance regional security.
What we do: CCI provides a source of expertise on climate change impacts on security to the Commander USINDOPACOM and its subordinate commands and agencies. We work in liaison with national and multinational agencies (civilian and/or military) responsible for climate security in Indo-Pacific nations. We work with academic organizations, think tanks and NGOs as well as government security organizations to develop and undertake projects of mutual interest to enhance climate resilience in the Indo-Pacific region.
CCI plans and activities:
- Conduct research analyses and reports on climate change impacts on regional security.
- Facilitate integration of climate change impacts into INDOPACOM’s regional exercises, training events and security cooperation programs.
- Establish and support an informal network of Indo-Pacific military and civilian national climate security officers -- the Community for Indo-Pacific Climate Security (CIPCS) -- to exchange information on national efforts and consider opportunities for international cooperation to enhance climate security.
- Conduct bilateral discussions with partner nations on areas of mutual concern and common interest.
An invitation to work with us: CCI is reaching out to military and civil sector agencies in Indo-Pacific nations to work in cooperation and collaboration as we undertake these plans and programs to better manage the security impacts of climate change. For further information, please contact the CCI Team.