Wilson Center Session

All Systems Go: Integrating Climate Security across the U.S. Government
1 October, 2-3 pm CET / 8-9 am EST 

One of President Biden’s first actions as he took office in January 2021 was to lean in through executive direction and the issuance of executive orders to address the climate crisis. A key feature of those efforts is to ensure the integration of climate change across U.S. government portfolios, including national security and foreign policy. The President has made clear his intention for U.S. government agencies to coordinate both within and across their portfolios to make that happen. In practice, that will be a challenging lift for an organization as complex, large, and diverse as the U.S. government. The successful integration of climate change policy considerations and the development of integrated operational responses that reflect meaningful coordination across agencies requires a reorientation of how the U.S. conceives of security (both at home and abroad), international development, and diplomacy.

In this panel discussion, representatives from the NSC, USAID, State Department, and NOAA, shared perspectives as agencies with different mandates but a shared goal of climate resilience in a stable world. Recognizing that integration and coordination are both essential and difficult, panelists shared insights on their respective agency climate security priorities and an update on ongoing and planned efforts to address climate security in the U.S. and with partners around the world.

New Security Beat reported on the panel discussion with an extensive summary, which you can find here.

Watch a recording of the session here 

Moderator

  • Lauren Risi, Project Director, Environmental Change and Security Program, Wilson Center

Speakers

  • Jennifer DeCesaro, Director for Climate Security and Resilience, U.S. National Security Council

  • Stephanie Epner, Senior Advisor on Climate Change and Foreign Policy, Office of the Special Envoy For Climate Change, U.S. Department of State

  • Roger Pulwarty, Senior Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency

  • Gillian Caldwell, Agency Climate Change Coordinator and Deputy Assistant Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development