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PRESS RELEASE - 15 September 2009

Indian Military Experts Launch Global Discussion on Climate Change and the Military

DELHI, 15 September 2009 - In the week before the launch of the UN Secretary General's Report on Climate Change and Security, a group of current and retired officers of the Indian Air Force have launched a global discussion on the role of the military and climate change at The Centre for Air Power Studies in New Delhi on 15th September.

The impact of climate change on security has not been well appreciated by the policymakers involved in negotiating an international agreement on mitigation the impacts of climate change, as a follow up to Kyoto Protocol. However, the adverse impacts of global warming are far too many. From Arctic ice melt and receding glaciers in the Himalayas to abrupt weather events like hurricane and flash floods, are all events linked to climate change. These would lead to further pressures on dwindling natural resources like water, food and land. This has interrelated climate change with the wider definition of national security which is inclusive of human security.

With the negotiations for the new international agreement becoming increasingly vitriolic, security community can not sit back and not be involved in the debate on matters that concern them deeply. Independent think tanks from Asia, US, and EU have therefore, formed a powerful consortium to launch a project "Climate Change and the Military: Copenhagen and Beyond". It is meant to orchestrate a strong message from the security sector to the December 2009 conference in Copenhagen. The project was kicked off by Vice Chief of the Indian Air Force Air Marshal PK Barbora, at Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi on 15th Sep 09. Speaking on the occasion, the Vice Chief mentioned the contribution that military leadership can make towards mitigation and adaptation of the impacts of climate change. The launch was also attended by international experts from the US, Netherlands and the UNEP as well as a wide cross-section of representative from civil services, and the three arms of the defence forces.

Project Partners: The Institute for Environmental Security, Chatham House, Clingendael Institute, E3G, IUCN, Brookings, The CNA, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars - Environmental Change and Security Project, The Centre for Air Power Studies and the Bangladesh Institute for Peace & Security Studies

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