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Backgrounder: Climate Change and the National Defense Authorization Act

An often-overlooked area of bipartisan collaboration in Washington revolves around the security threat of climate change, with Republicans and Democrats agreeing on legislation to highlight and respond to the threat, and putting forward bills that have become law. More must be done to reduce the scale and scope of the threat, but as Congress develops the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), it is worth looking back at the progress the United States has seen over the past several years, much of which aligns with the priorities described in the Climate Security Plan for America and the follow up report, Challenge Accepted.

In this backgrounder, we track key provisions that have been included in NDAAs from Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 through FY 2022, building from the initial, bipartisan declaration in 2017 that climate change was a direct threat to national security, to requirements for vulnerability assessments, resilience authorities, strategy requirements, and mainstreaming consideration of climate impacts on mission.

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