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Senate Democrats Release Climate Report – Highlight National Security Risks

By John Conger

On August 25, 2020 the U.S. Senate Democrats Special Committee on the Climate Crisis published The Case for Climate Action: Building a Clean Economy for the American People.  Like the report put out by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis in July, it lays out a case for climate action that invokes climate threats to national security among its supporting arguments. 

I testified before the Senate Committee in February as it was developing its report, and highlighted the Climate Security Plan for America, which was submitted as our formal testimony.

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Army Corps Chief: We Will Continue to Consider Climate Change Unless Ordered Not To

RD James 2020By Marc Kodack

On 9 January, the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, held a hearing to discuss the 2020 Water Resources Development Act. There were two witnesses: The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, HON R.D. James, and the Chief of Engineers of the United States Army and the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lieutenant General Todd Semonite. During the hearing, Assistant Secretary James noted that the Army Corps of Engineers would continue to consider the science of climate change unless explicitly ordered not to. See below for the full exchange on climate change between the Subcommittee Chairwoman, Representative Grace Napolitano, and Assistant Secretary James. (more…)

America Must Reassert Its Leadership In The Arctic For 21st Century Security

Goodman Congressional Testimony_2019_December 12

Sherri Goodman, Senior Strategist at the Center for Climate and Security, testifies before the U.S. Senate on December 12, 2019

By Ladeene Freimuth, Special Guest Contributor

As we begin a new decade and move further into the 21st century, increasing U.S. leadership and security in the Arctic are vital, in light of the growing threats America faces there. The U.S. cannot lose sight of important geostrategic changes occurring vis-a-vis the Arctic, due to the “threat multiplier” effects of climate change, which are exacerbating the security challenges for the U.S. there and elsewhere around the globe.

A recent hearing on the “Expanding Opportunities, Challenges, and Threats in the Arctic” in the Security Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation sought to highlight this need for the U.S. to reassert its leadership in the Arctic by examining climate change and national security challenges and opportunities in the region, with an emphasis on the U.S. Coast Guard’s strategic role. Climate impacts are “reshaping the strategic operating environment for the Coast Guard in the Arctic, and around the world,” as the Honorable Sherri Goodman, Senior Strategist for the Center for Climate and Security, testified before the Subcommittee. In 2018, former Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, stated that the U.S. needs to up its gamein the Arctic, because the U.S. is inadequately prepared for the changing threat environment there. (more…)

U.S. Congress Continues to Address Climate Change in Defense and Intelligence Legislation

Rain_on_Capitol_Hill

By John Conger

In the final version of the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Congress included multiple important climate security provisions that will significantly increase Department of Defense (DoD) installations’ resilience to climate change. This continues a tradition of bipartisan cooperation on including climate change provisions in the NDAA, including during the last and current Congress (including the FY2018 NDAA, which identified climate change as a “direct threat” to national security. This year’s bill includes a number of significant steps forward, such as funding for climate resilience projects, and the creation of a Climate and Security Council within the Intelligence Community (a long-standing priority for the Center for Climate and Security). Below is a summary of the climate security provisions in the final version of the NDAA. (more…)

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