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By John Conger
President Biden signed the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on December 23, 2022, a $858 billion measure setting defense policy and authorizing spending for next year. While the bill includes thousands of provisions addressing issues across the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), its biggest impact on climate security this year is its broad support of the efforts the DoD proposed in its budget request.
In recent years, Congress has used this must-pass legislation to highlight and respond to climate threats to national security. Past NDAAs have directed DoD to deliver strategies and plans addressing climate-related issues such as the opening Arctic or resilience to extreme weather, and have provided a wide range of new authorities to DoD to support resilience efforts. Until now, however, the bill has given less attention to the funding authorization needed to turn the plans into action.(more…)
Late last week, the U.S. Congress passed landmark climate legislation in the form of the Inflation Reduction Act. This legislation will speed up deployment of clean energy and lower US carbon emissions by about 40 percent from 2005 levels, closing two-thirds of the remaining gap between current policies and the US climate target of a 50 percent reduction in emissions by 2030. The legislation has multiple implications for U.S. climate security going forward—including helping prevent the worst security outcomes of unchecked emissions, bolstering U.S. credibility as it pushes other countries to reduce emissions, improving U.S. energy reliability and resilience, and complementing Department of Defense efforts to curb its own emissions in hard to decarbonize sectors.(more…)
Join the Center for Climate and Security (CCS) on June 14, 2022 at 2 p.m. EST for a panel discussion featuring senior U.S. government officials to discuss the climate funding included in the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Budget Request (register here).
- Joe Bryan, Senior Advisor for Climate, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Department of Defense
- Teresa Pohlman, Executive Director of Environmental and Sustainability Programs, Department of Homeland Security
- Gillian Caldwell, Chief Climate Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development
- Jesse Young, Senior Advisor, Office of the Senior Presidential Envoy for Climate, U.S. State Department
Earlier this year, the Climate and Security Advisory Group published the report, Challenge Accepted, which lauded the fact that the Administration had declared climate change to be an essential element of national security and foreign policy, but called upon the U.S. government to move from words to deeds.
A key ingredient in accomplishing the aims of established U.S. climate security strategy is the financial resources necessary to fuel the transformation from plans to action. The President’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request, submitted to Congress in March, proposes an unprecedented amount of funding dedicated to addressing climate security issues. Which provokes questions like: Is it enough? Is it in the right places? And what forward progress will it actually enable?
Register to attend here.
In early April, the Biden Administration released a “prologue” to the US Global Fragility Strategy, also known as the Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability. The initial document was developed under the Trump Administration in response to requirements in the Global Fragility Act (GFA). Congress passed the GFA in 2019 with bipartisan support, the goal of which was to create a new approach to preventing conflict in fragile states by bringing a whole of government, silo-busting strategy to foreign assistance and diplomacy. This type of coordinated, multi-sectoral process is exactly what is needed to ensure climate considerations are well integrated into US foreign policy, and the prologue takes two important steps forward in this direction.
First, the new prologue explicitly discusses the role of climate change in shaping state fragility and risks of conflict – a glaring omission in the original strategy. The document states:(more…)