PSA Bipartisan Climate Security Statement
October 22, 2015
For years, America’s intelligence community and armed services have recognized climate change as a threat to U.S. national security – shaping a world that is more unstable, resource-constrained, violent, and disaster-prone. This issue is critically important to the world’s most experienced security planners. The impacts are real, and the costs of inaction are unacceptable. America’s elected leaders and private sector must think past tomorrow to focus on this growing problem, and take action at home and abroad.
The U.S. Department of Defense has defined climate change as a global threat multiplier – exacerbating instigators of conflict such as resource disputes, ethnic tensions, and economic discontent. Operationally, they see its potential to prevent access to their workforce, degrade the security of installations, impede training and readiness, and impair force capacity. Through proactive efforts, the DoD is setting an example for preparedness. As a nation, we need to do the same here and overseas.
At this moment in history, the U.S. must grab the mantle of global leadership to engage other nations and overcome this challenge. Combating the consequential national security dangers posed by the changing climate cannot be done alone. American leaders must enlist international partners to ensure that all countries do their fair share. For twenty years, the U.S. has asserted that this is a global problem that will require global solutions. Now, with crucial actors like China, Brazil, and Mexico making earnest commitments, we have an opportunity to advance that approach.
The U.S. has always led on big global challenges. We must tackle this threat by mobilizing the strength and ingenuity of the U.S. government and business community to seek effective, financially sound
approaches. This takes public and private sector expertise, funding, and coordination. We can ensure a prosperous future for our nation by shoring up resilience and mitigation efforts at home, assisting vulnerable partners abroad, and planning past tomorrow – where Americans will live with the decisions of today.