After two weeks of intensive discussion with more than 30 climate scientists and government officials, the Perry Center’s inaugural “Climate Change and Implications for Defense and Security” course concluded on May 19 with commencement remarks by National Defense University President Lieutenant General Michael Plehn; National Security Council Director for Science, Technology, and Workforce Strategy Dr. Hila Levy; and Perry Center Director Dr. Paul J. Angelo.
Dr. Levy thanked the gradates for making the investment in themselves, their countries, the hemisphere, and the world by attending the course. She called on them to act as ambassadors upon returning to their respective 21 countries in the Americas and Africa by educating and empowering their ministries, militaries, and citizens about the wide-ranging impacts of climate change. Dr. Angelo noted that “climate change is already unequivocally fueling instability and insecurity in our shared neighborhood…We’re in this together. And after sharing these last weeks with all of you, I have 42 more reasons to be optimistic.”
The course, designed and directed by Perry Center professor Dr. Patrick Paterson, focused on five themes related to climate change: the science, the threats, the solutions, the role of the security forces and the human impact. A second iteration of this course is scheduled to take place from July 10 – 21, 2023.