A Framework for Climate Security (Poster)

November, 2021
IDA document: D-32881
FFRDC: Systems and Analyses Center
Type: Documents
Division: Science and Technology Division
Jennifer L. Bewley, Alec C. Wahlman, Gifford J. Wong See more authors
The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) and the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) Resource Conservation and Resiliency program area has supported a broad portfolio of research intended to help maximize mission readiness. Our research finds that there is unlikely to be a single climate security framework capable of serving the variety of needs and perspectives within the Department of Defense (DoD). As a result, we develop an approach for creating frameworks that could help undergird future readiness assessments. We believe this approach can help further SERDP/ESTCP’s mission by supporting more structured and informed decision-making within the DoD enterprise. In 2019, IDA began developing an internally funded interdisciplinary climate security capability within its cadre of research personnel. One output from that effort was the recognition that decisions relative to the consequences of climate change for the DoD need to start with a broad structure. IDA found the following structure useful: impact on installations, impact on operations, other climate-related demands placed on DoD, and climate impacts on foes/allies/partners. Within the operations domain alone, there are many valid perspectives based on the kinds of decisions that require support. As a prototype demonstration, we drilled down in operations by mapping 13 direct physical effects of climate change to the doctrinal taxonomy for the 7 joint functions of DoD operations. Of the seven joint functions, we find that intelligence, movement and maneuver, and sustainment will likely be the most heavily impacted, by the spectrum of changes to the physical environment. From the perspective of the environmental changes, decreasing sea ice stands out as the most disruptive across the joint functions. Together, this approach could be used for prioritizing additional investigation and investments in technology or infrastructure capable of supporting DoD operations.