UCF Global Perspectives


U.S. Military Recognizes Threat of Climate Change

Alex Gañán, Intern, Environment and Global Climate Change

September 16, 2016

Top U.S. defense officials released a series of documents that affirm that climate change “presents a strategically-significant risk to U.S. national security” (Reuters). The report also notes, “Inaction is not a viable option” (Reuters). Risks range from the impact of flood and extreme weather on coastal installations, to disruption in fragile states with limited resources to combat severe weather events (Department of Defense). The Center for Climate and Security, a non-partisan think tank, recommends the creation of a cabinet-level position for climatic security. Members of the center also implore future presidential administrations to take serious measures to combat global climate change (The Guardian).

This aligns with the Department of Defense’s (DoD) shift in addressing climate change under the Obama administration. Last year the DoD called climate change a “threat multiplier” (The Guardian) and in July issued a report on the security implications of climate change. The report raises concern over the potential disruption climate change poses to fragile states and its national security consequences. It also recommends integrating climatic impacts into planning cycles (Department of Defense).




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