Washington, D.C., October 30, 2009 – Yesterday, a group of serving and retired military officers from around the globe called on governments to "work for an ambitious and equitable international agreement" at the Copenhagen climate negotiations in December.
Participants at the conference on "Climate Change and Security at Copenhagen" emphasized the critical importance of addressing climate change now in order to avoid exacerbating current security threats and creating new ones.
"To avoid conflicts from climate change-related impacts, we need to employ every tool and strategy available, and the military is a critical ally in this fight," said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development and speaker at the conference.
The officers, representing Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the US, are part of an international initiative on Climate Change and the Military led by the Institute for Environmental Security (IES) in The Hague and 10 other think tanks from Asia, Europe and North America.
Quoting from the military climate statement released at the conference, Air Marshal (ret) AK Singh of India, Chairman of the project's Military Advisory Council, warned that "failure to recognise the conflict and instability implications of climate change, and to invest in a range of preventative and adaptive actions will be very costly in terms of destabilising nations, causing human suffering, retarding development and providing the required military response." AK Singh also serves as Project Director, Climate Change & Security, Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi. …