The vision of GMACCC is to be seen as an authoritative voice on the need for, and the nature of, action to be taken by the security community to reduce the risks posed to national security by a changing climate
GMACCC was created in 2009 In response to growing threats to global security and peace posed by climate change. The Council was established at the initiative of the Institute for Environmental Security
(IES) as part of its project “Climate Change and the Military”
– a cooperative effort of a group of leading think tanks aimed at sending a clear and strong message from the security sector to global policy makers to engage the international community to mitigate security risks in proactive climate change adaptation strategies.
The IES project featured the publication in 2009 of the background paper, “Climate Change & the Military: The State of the Debate”
which outlined the central issue of climate change and security, and established a framework for discussion in the military on its role in addressing the direct impacts of climate change on its core focus areas of national security, regional and global stability.
The group’s first joint statement
was released in October 2009 at the third in a series of joint conferences on Climate Change and International Security which was held in Washington, D.C., and issued simultaneously in Brussels, Dhaka, Georgetown, London, New Delhi and The Hague.
The call for action emphasised that incremental and occasionally abrupt changes in the earth’s climate are triggering – on an unprecedented scale – human misery, loss of biodiversity and damage to infrastructure with consequential security implications that urgently need to be addressed. The joint statement called on all governments to ensure that security implications of climate change are integrated into their respective military strategies. GMACCC also called upon the military to help reduce energy use that contributes to climate change by reducing its own carbon “bootprint”.
The Council warned in the statement that “failure to recognise the conflict and instability implications of climate change and to invest in a range of preventative and adaptive actions will be very costly in terms of destabilising nations, causing human suffering, retarding development and providing the required military response.”
In the years since the founding of GMACCC the IES and partners have organised several events on climate change and international security
and Council members have been guest speakers at many international conferences around the world. GMACCC has also (co-) published a series of papers
on the security threats of a changing climate including papers focused on specific regions such as Africa and South Asia.Organisation
General Meetings of GMACCC are open to all GMACCC Individual Members
and representatives of Partner Organisations
. Every three years the Council (re-) appoints among its members an Executive Committee to coordinate the work of the GMACCC for the next three years. The EC elects from among its members a Chairperson for the same period. The current members of the Executive Committee are:Major General A M N Muniruzzaman (Ret.)
– GMACCC ChairmanDr Stephen O. AndersenDr Chad BriggsMs Jessica Olcott YllemoDr Col Reiner Zimmermann
In 2018 the Council appointed Jamie Shea
as GMACCC Secretary General and entrusted the Environment & Development Resource Centre (EDRC)
to serve as the GMACCC International Secretariat with the American Security Project (ASP)
as the GMACCC North American Office.
The work of the Council is coordinated by the Executive Committee and three standing committees:
1: Research Committee
2: Education Committee
3: Outreach Committee
GMACCC Individual Members
serve in their individual capacities and not as representatives of their respective organisations.