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Climate Change and Implications for Defense and Security 2024
course masthead - 202409 CCIDS

The Climate Change and Implications for Defense and Security (CCIDS) course provides an opportunity to examine climate change and the destabilizing impact it will have on communities in the Americas. Climate change 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.

The CCIDS course will focus heavily on the role of security and defense institutions in combatting climate change and the associated security implications of global temperature increases. To provide a broader context of how climate change 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. However, the course focus will be predominantly on the consequences that climate change will have on security-related matters for governments in the region.

Understanding the science behind the problem as well as what efforts need to be taken to mitigate the impact of climate change on Latin American and Caribbean communities will also be scrutinized. The role of international organizations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be covered. Finally, abstract concepts such as "tragedy of the global commons" will be explained in order to help course participants understand obstacles to collective action by the international community.



Application Period:
08 Apr 2024 -
10 Jun 2024
Online Preparatory Phase:
19 Aug 2024 -
30 Aug 2024
In-Person Phase:
09 Sep 2024 -
20 Sep 2024


This course is designed to provide opportunities 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 disasters.
  • Understand the threats posed to communities in Latin American and Caribbean nations by climate change and global warming.
  • Share efforts by governments in the region to mitigate the effects of climate change.
  • Identify interagency and whole-of-government efforts to combat climate change.
  • Examine the role of the armed forces in responding to climate change related disasters.
  • Analyze elements of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) associated with climate change including response to meteorological disasters, defense support of civilian authorities, preservation of critical infrastructure, interagency coordination, and continuity of operations for the government.
  • Examine ways to increase regional cooperation in the face of worsening climate conditions.


To accommodate participation by working professionals, this course is organized into an online preparatory phase followed by two weeks of full-day sessions in Washington, DC. In an academic, non-attribution environment, participants have the unique experience of listening to and exchanging ideas with key civilian and military officials who work on climate change issues in the Western Hemisphere. This may include representatives from international organizations as well as personnel from national governments who can provide diverse perspectives, responsibilities, bureaucratic considerations, and policy challenges and preferences.

The curriculum combines lectures, question and answer sessions, moderated panels, working group discussions led by the Perry Center faculty, and an end of course writing project.


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.

Individuals are limited to receiving two (2) scholarships to attend in-residence courses per ten-year period, but are free to apply to additional in-residence courses in a fully self-funded status (the 18-month waiting period between attending in-residence courses still applies).

In accordance with Department of Defense policy, citizens of “high income” countries (as established by the World Bank) are not eligible for scholarships. As of 01 July 2023, this restriction applies to the following Western Hemisphere nations and territories:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chile
  • Curaçao
  • Guyana
  • Panama
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Martin
  • Sint Maarten
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos
  • Uruguay

Citizens of these countries may still apply to courses, but in a fully self-funded status. Self-funded candidates must meet all eligibility standards and comply with all application requirements, including application deadlines, as well as being able to cover the expenses of their own travel, lodging, meals, and incidentals. US citizens cannot (by law) receive scholarships, but may also apply to attend in a self-funded status. US citizens and other self-funded candidates should contact the Registrar’s Office for additional guidance.

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.

This course is conducted in both English and Spanish. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided during plenary sessions. Participants will be organized into single-language working groups for discussion and exercises.


Dr. Erin McFee
Course Director