On December 8, 2022, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Mr. Daniel Erikson, hosted a roundtable with Caribbean ambassadors to the United States and senior Department of Defense officials regarding the efforts that the Department is undertaking to address the impacts of climate and environmental change on regional security. The meeting took place at the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
DOD speakers included Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Advisor for Climate, Mr. Joe Bryan; Acting Director for Global Resilience and Senior Advisor for Climate, Dr. Annalise Blum; Climate Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Navy, Ms. Deborah Loomis; Executive Director for Climate Resilience, Mr. Michael McGhee; U.S. Northern Command, Director of Logistics and Engineering, USAF Maj. Gen. Constance L. Jenkins; U.S. Southern Command, Deputy Director of Strategy, Policy and Plans, Mr. Jeff Hughes; and Pacific Disaster Center Liaison to U.S. Southern Command, Mr. Alex Carias.
DOD and partner militaries and security forces in the Western Hemisphere often support civilian agencies in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. Given the increasing frequency, scale, and complexity of climate change, DOD has undertaken several efforts to identify ways that climate change is irrevocably altering the context in which the Department and its partners operate.
Recognizing that hazards, impacts, and risks associated with climate change disproportionately impact the Caribbean and are resulting in greater humanitarian need, instability, and irregular migration concerns, the Climate Change Roundtable with Caribbean Ambassadors provided an opportunity to learn from these partners about their climate change mitigation and adaptation expertise, and their broader security concerns. The Roundtable also provided an opportunity to discuss how DOD contributes to global actions to address climate change in close coordination with other civilian agencies to support broader government efforts.
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