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Delivering Climate Security COP 15 Side Event 12.00-1.30, 17 th December 2009 CLIMATE CHANGE & THE MILITARY: Actions Beyond Copenhagen Tom Spencer Vice.

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Presentation on theme: "Delivering Climate Security COP 15 Side Event 12.00-1.30, 17 th December 2009 CLIMATE CHANGE & THE MILITARY: Actions Beyond Copenhagen Tom Spencer Vice."— Presentation transcript:

1 Delivering Climate Security COP 15 Side Event , 17 th December 2009 CLIMATE CHANGE & THE MILITARY: Actions Beyond Copenhagen Tom Spencer Vice Chairman, Institute for Environmental Security Project Co-ordinator, Climate Change & The Military

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5 The Military have expressed their legitimate concern to see a robust climate regime What can they do to reduce their own bootprint? How fast can they reduce their dependence on fossil fuels? How rapidly can military research budgets be deployed?

6 Consolidating Military Interest – Actions Beyond Copenhagen Is the time right to move beyond groupings of retired officers, such as the Military Advisory Council and the Military Advisory Board of CNA? How do we involve more countries? Specifically China and Russia? How do we integrate the security implications of climate change in to national military strategies?

7 Climate Change & Security is established as a legitimate item on the international agenda, What should be the future relationship of the issue to the UNFCCC? Should we seek actions in parallel outside the UNFCCC? What is the ideal institutional home for the debate?

8 Consolidating the case for Climate Change & Security – Academic & Communication Aspects Address the doubts expressed about Environmental Security as a discipline in the UN Secretary General’s Report Stress urgency of the issue and the emerging threat to infrastructure The need for a compelling narrative – the Third Pole glaciers?

9 “Third Pole” Glacial Melt is an Asian, not a South Asian, issue 22% of humanity rely on summer melt water from the Hindu Kush / Himalayan / Tibet glaciers The great rivers of Asia: Yangtze-Brahmaputra- Ganges-Huang Ho-Indus-Mekong-Salween Glacial Melt Outburst Floods (GLOFs) Loss of summer melt water Loss of hydro-electric power schemes Changes to the Monsoon? Earthquakes? Extra sea level rise Damage to Tibetan permafrost

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12 The Military Implications are very worrying – By 2050? By 2035? By 2020? Unrest in rural China – political stability of China Afghanistan & Pakistan – impact on existing wars India & Bangladesh – displacement & migration The diversion of the Brahmaputra – a casus belli?

13 Black Carbon is the Key “It causes warming in two ways. First, Black Carbon in the atmosphere absorbs solar radiation, which heats the surrounding air; second, surface deposition of airborne Black Carbon can darken snow and ice and accelerate melting. In the Himalayan region, Ramanathan and Carmichael estimate that solar heating from Black Carbon at high elevations may be as important as CO2 for melting snow and ice. Their model simulations indicate that approximately 0.6  C of the 1  C warming in the Tibetan Himalayas since the 1950s may be due to atmospheric Black Carbon.” Ramanathan V, Carmichael G, “Global and regional climate changes due to black carbon”, NATURE GEOSCIENCE Volume 1, pp. 221–227, 2008.


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