Home » Climate Change and Implications for Defense and Security 2023
Climate Change and Implications for Defense and Security 2023

The CCIDS course is being offered twice in 2023. Both iterations of this course will cover the same general topics, pending the availability of invited speakers and panelists.

Effective climate change preparedness requires nations in the region to understand and respond effectively to the threat from climate-induced, meteorological catastrophes in Latin America and the Caribbean. For example, following Hurricane Irma and Maria in 2017, gaps were identified in regional response mechanisms, development of the necessary disaster capabilities, civil-military coordination, and the need for fast, flexible response immediately following the two major hurricanes. To facilitate rapid and effective decision-making from a climate change catastrophe, legal authorities, roles and responsibilities, and lines of authority at all government levels must be clearly defined, effectively communicated, and well understood.

The Climate Change course provides an opportunity to examine climate change and the destabilizing impact it will have on communities in the Americas. Climate change (CC) has been referred to as an "existential" crisis and climate-related crises – geographic, environmental, economic, political, and social - will accelerate as global temperatures continue to rise. This course will focus heavily on the role of security and defense institutions in combatting CC and the associated security implications of global temperature increases. To provide a broader context of how CC will impact communities in Latin American and Caribbean nations, the CCIDS course will examine causes of global temperature increases and how societies can mitigate the effects of the associated meteorological disasters. The course focus will be predominantly on the consequences of climate change will have on security-related matters for governments in the region.



Application Period:
12 Dec 2022 -
15 Feb 2023
Online Phase:
24 Apr 2023 -
28 Apr 2023
In-Person Phase:
08 May 2023 -
19 May 2023


Designed for government and non-government officials professionally engaged in responding to climate change, the course will provide an opportunity to educate participants about the scientific and meteorological causes of global warming, identify measures to improve the nation’s abilities to respond to climate-induced disaster, and examine the role of the armed forces in responding to climate change related disasters. Participants will learn about threats posed to communities in Latin American and Caribbean nations by climate change and global warming, these include more powerful storms, increased levels of precipitation, heat waves, droughts, and rising sea levels, among others. Participants will be able to share efforts and best practices by governments in the region to mitigate the effects of climate change, for example, through conversion of electrical generation, industry, and transportation systems away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy systems; reinforcement and upgrading of critical infrastructure; and hardening existing military installations. The course will identify key interagency and whole-of-government efforts to combat climate change and will analyze elements of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) including response to meteorological disasters, defense support of civilian authorities, preservation of critical infrastructure, interagency coordination, and continuity of operations for the government.


This is a three-week course, with a four-day online phase and two-week in-person phase. Participants use National Defense University's (NDU) Blackboard learning management system, to download reading material, submit assignments and participate in video conferences. The in-person phase is conducted using a combination of individual study, discussions of the readings, small-group discussions and panels, case studies and exercises. The curriculum combines lectures, question and answer sessions, moderated panels, and working group discussions led by WJPC professors.


Candidates must be professionally engaged in the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of climate change related issues, coming from the following institutions/activities:

  • Personnel who work directly on climate change/ Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief issues for their nation’s security forces.
  • Government personnel who work on climate change issues in organizations other than the military or police (e.g., civilian organizations (interagency), regional mechanisms, national response mechanisms, etc.).
  • Personnel from civilian organizations that focus on climate change, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, including non-government organizations (NGOs), academic institutions, private sector, foundations, think tanks, international organizations, and the United Nations.

In accordance with Department of Defense policy, citizens of countries with designated income levels established by the World Bank are not eligible for scholarships. At this time, this restriction applies to the following Western Hemisphere nations: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Chile, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. Citizens of these countries may still apply to courses, but in a self-funded status.

Candidates must possess a university degree or, in cases where a candidate does not hold a degree, equivalent practical experience. Military and police personnel must have completed a command and staff course or equivalent or be a senior enlisted that works directly in climate change of their nations. Exceptions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The CCIDS course will be held in Spanish and English. Simultaneous interpretation will be always available. Required readings are provided in Spanish and English.