Once isolated areas of study are now fusing into an inter- and trans-disciplinary knowledge domain, referred to as climate security, which integrates a wider range of thinkers and subject matter experts to ask appropriate questions and provide sound solutions. As this intersection grows in priority, questions such as, “What security dimensions are involved in climate change?” and, “What global security risks does a 2℃-temperature increase pose?” require our attention to tactically progress policy and strategy. We consider it important to cultivate these emerging collaborations and make connections between various areas of study not yet considered that have the capacity for unprecedented innovation and excellence.


Los Alamos National Laboratory has teamed up with the Committee on Science and, Technology and Law (CSTL) and the Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy (STEP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to host the fourth  Harnessing Transformational Technologies Symposium (HTT) on “Confronting the Threats of Climate Change to Global Security” at the Santa Fe Convention Center in New Mexico from June 26-27, 2024.

The HTT Symposium will examine anthropogenic factors underlying climate change and the corresponding threats to global security, with discussions covering various intersecting topics in climate and energy. Intended to explore the intersection of climate change and national and global security from a multidisciplinary perspective, we strive to thereafter encourage discourse in this field of study for its application in policy and strategy development and implementation.


The HTT Symposium will comprise panel discussions over a two-day period to examine four topic areas: 1) framing the problem; 2) global consequences (climate change unchecked); 3) global consequences (climate change checked); and 4) governance. This forum will provide comparative assessment of existing climate and energy challenges in respective sectors.

These factors will also be discussed in the context of national and global security. The two-day symposium will provide a forum for comparative assessment of strategies concerning water, food, and agriculture; migration and human health; political stability; and military and disaster relief operations. Panels of distinguished experts will weigh in on the above four topic areas with the intent to inform and provoke the audience (members of the United State government, National Laboratories, academia, private industry, think tanks and non-government organizations) to address the topics. 


The near-term objective of this gathering is to examine this multi-dimensional problem with a pragmatic eye and distill the scientific, economic, political, and social factors to a palatable form that helps to build global consensus, cooperation, and long overdue action. This symposium, through presentations by experts, panel discussions and the incorporation of youth and historically underrepresented voices, intends to provide a scientific and balanced view of the challenge, to explore opportunities for research and to reimagine solutions within the scope of national and global security.

Besides examination of these interconnected issues, a concrete goal is to synthesize the talks and discussions into a white paper, “Santa Fe Consensus Action Items,” to precipitate further research and action. The long-term intent is to help create a body of research that allows the nation to address the following questions:

  1. In a post-fossil fuel world, what global engagement can help create a stable world order?
  2. How should the world prepare economically, politically, and socially to mitigate the disruptions caused by rapid transition away from the current fossil fuel-based economy?
  3. What will be the economic and security costs of surpassing the global 2oC-temperature increase threshold?
  4. What are the security implications for countries and democratic institutions if the world does not make the transition to net zero emissions?