Vail Symposium offers virtual panel on climate change’s effects on national security |

Vail Symposium offers virtual panel on climate change’s effects on national security

The world is warming and as it warms, every region of the world will face risks to national security in the coming decades. Nations already vulnerable may encounter the most severe impacts, further destabilizing fragile regions. On the current warming trajectory, temperatures will be warmer by the end of the 21st century than ever experienced by human civilization.

Impacts from this warming include but are not limited to: drought, increasing severity of storms, saltwater intrusion to coastal regions, declining agriculture and increasing health risks. As a result, entire societies may be displaced, contributing to unprecedented waves of migration and potentially stoking conflict and violence.

On Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m., Vail Symposium presents “Tensions Rising: Climate Change and National Security,” a virtual panel discussion via Zoom.

Climate change has affected all regions of the world.
Special to the Daily

“The Vail Symposium has for several years presented environmental awareness programs on various challenges posed by, and potential solutions to a warming climate,” said program manager Claire Noble. “Until now, we have not addressed the planning by the defense establishment to operate in a warmer world. This program will offer an entirely different perspective on responding to climate change pressures.”

In this program, an expert panel of defense researchers and military professionals will address the security impacts of climate change, in particular the most concerning. They will share insight into what regions will be most affected, how climate change will impact the operational environment, what is meant by security infrastructure and how does climate change threaten it, and how do we proactively build capacity to address climate change.

About the speakers

The Honorable John Conger is Director of the Center for Climate and Security, where he oversees all of the Center’s programs, and Chair of the Climate and Security Advisory Group (CSAG). He is also a Senior US Advisor to the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS). Conger previously served as Senior Policy Advisor with the center, and as the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

Kate Guy is a Senior Research Fellow with the Center for Climate and Security (CCS), and Deputy Director of the International Military Council on Climate and Security. Previously, she was Chair of CCS’s National Security, Military and Intelligence Panel (NSMIP). She most recently worked in American politics and policy as the Senior Policy Program Manager with the Truman National Security Project, and as assistant to the Campaign Manager of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential race.

General Paul Kern, US Army (Ret.) is a Senior Counselor with The Cohen Group. He served as President and Chief Operating Officer of AM General from August 2008 through January 2010 and is currently a Director with LGS Innovations, and a member of the CoVant Board of Managers. Since retiring from the Army in 2005, he has held the Class of 1950 Chair for Advanced Technology at West Point, was a Vice President for Battelle, and a Director on the Anteon, ITT, EDO, Exelis and iRobot Corporation boards.


What: Tensions Rising: Climate Change and National Security

When: Tuesday, Dec. 15, 6 p.m.

Where: Zoom Webinar

More information: Attending is free. Please register at for more information.


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