Obama Administration: Climate Change Is ‘An Urgent and Growing Threat’ to National Security

Miljan Mladenovic/Shutterstock.com

The White House highlighted climate change as a major risk to Americans at home and abroad on Friday with the release of its latest national security strategy.

"Climate change is an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources like food and water," the report warns.

The document, which serves as a road map for President Obama's national security agenda, ranks climate change alongside weapons of mass destruction, infectious disease, and threats against American citizens abroad as top priorities for U.S. foreign policy.

"We continue to face serious challenges to our national security," the strategy cautions. "Escalating challenges to cybersecurity, aggression by Russia, the accelerating impacts of climate change, and the outbreak of infectious diseases all give rise to anxieties about global security."

Obama has warned that climate change poses a threat to international stability before. And indeed, the administration's 2010 national security strategy also noted that climate change posed a threat to U.S. interests. But Friday's document puts global warming front and center, addressing climate risks and impacts early on and throughout the report.

The White House also touts administration efforts to tackle a warming planet, echoing a refrain from Obama's State of the Union address.

"America is leading efforts at home and with the international community to confront this challenge," the report states, adding: "Over the last six years, U.S. emissions have declined by a larger total magnitude than those of any other country."

The strategy blueprint is sure to meet with criticism from the Republican Congress.

Administration critics like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas have often slammed the administration for prioritizing climate change as a focus of national security.

"[Secretary of State John Kerry] sees a greater threat from your SUV than he does to Iranian nuclear weapons," Cruz said during an interview with CNN last year.

(Image via Miljan Mladenovic/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.