by Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană at the signing ceremony of the Operational Memorandum of Understanding of the NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence

  • 12 Jul. 2023 -
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  • Last updated: 12 Jul. 2023 15:18

(As delivered)

Thank you so much.
It's a great pleasure to be here with all our colleagues.
I would like to thank Canada for being such a staunch ally in our great Alliance.
Canada contributes to our operations and missions, soldiers, foundation in the battlegroup in Latvia.
They play a role, which is vital in NATO.
And I'm also very happy that you will be hosting the DIANA North America headquarters.
Merci infiniment à vous et à tous les collègues qui sont présents et présentes ici.
Today we are adding yet one more Canadian contribution to the security of NATO’s 1 billion citizens, a new Centre for Excellence on Climate Change and Security in Montreal.
We sometimes still get asked, why NATO when it comes to climate change and security?
And the answer is quite simple.
Climate change is an existential threat to the future of our planet, and therefore, it matters to our security.
NATO is not and should not be absent from any new facets of the new definition of security, and this is the case in point today.
NATO has three strands of work when it comes to climate change and security.
First, we must understand the problem.
Changing weather patterns will mean we have to fight differently.
We have to know what changes are coming.
Second, we must mitigate from NATO Mission Iraq where our soldiers and trainers need to cope with temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius, to changing the way we build our bases to protect against climate change.
And third, we must adapt and adaptation is in the gene of this Alliance.
And this is what makes this Alliance so successful over time, over and over again.
NATO cannot remain a fossil fuel Alliance in a renewable age, whereas military Alliance must prepare for a future where our capabilities from fighter jets to tanks need to operate in a greener way without ever compromising on military effectiveness, of course.
In all these tests, our new Center of Excellence on Climate Change Security in Canada will be an essential part of the solution.
I hope that this initial group of Allies joining the center will be just the first part of this exercise.
We encourage other Allies, we encourage our partners to join in.
And to make this wonderful centre and again,
Merci infiniment Madame la Ministre,
Thank you so much, Canada, for taking up this challenge.
We look forward to visiting and hope we'll be invited also to the opening together with my colleagues from the Emerging Security Challenges division.
Thank you so much.
Good luck.