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Canadian and US intelligence agencies focus on climate change

US President Joe Biden addresses the COP26 climate change conference on 2 November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. In addition to appointing a dedicated climate change adviser, Biden has called on the intelligence community to work on the issue. (Jeff J Mitchell/Pool/Getty Images)

Tricia Geddes, Deputy Director for Policy at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), told the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies symposium on 3 November that the agency foresaw a role for itself in tackling the impacts of climate change. The Canadian Press quoted her as saying, “I think it's important that we are going to be in that space” and that the CSIS would make “a significant contribution” to analysing national security threats stemming from climate change, such as mass migration of suddenly vulnerable people.

At the same symposium, former Canadian National Security Advisor Daniel Jean said that the effects of climate change on national security were already being seen by government officials, and cited water insecurity in Africa as a cause of conflicts. He said, “We're going to have to devote a little bit more attention to this in the whole dimension of what the world needs to do to deal with the warming of the planet.”

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