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Degrees of Risk

Defining a Risk Management Framework for Climate Security

Current responses to climate change are failing to manage effectively the full range of climate security risks. There is a mismatch between the analysis of the severity of climate security threats and the political, diplomatic, policy and financial investment countries expend to avoid the attendant risks.

E3G’s report Degrees of Risk: Defining a Risk Management Framework for Climate Security, proposes taking some hard won lessons from the security community and adopting a rigorous risk management approach to climate security. The report was launched in Washington in February 2011 by the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Despite global commitments to limit the impacts of climate change there is increasing uncertainty about whether and how these goals will be reached and whether governments are truly preparing to manage the security risks of a changing climate. Dealing with this range of uncertainty will require thoughtful and frank discussions that are out of step with the current politically polarised atmosphere surrounding climate change issues in key countries.

"There appears to be a breath of fresh air wafting through the environmental community" New York Times, dot earth blog

The recommendations made in Degrees of Risk are based on a series of closed-door meetings with US and European security, intelligence and defense officials over two years. The report proposes a Three-Tier “ABC” Framework for developing a risk management strategy and makes 10 recommendations for priority actions governments should take to begin implementing the framework.

The development of the report was supported by the Energy Foundation, the Rockefeller's Brothers Fund, and the Children's Investment Fund Foundation. Degrees of RIsk is a groundbreaking report, which has influenced the US Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Taskforce.

"a fantastic report from green think tank E3G" David Roberts, Grist.