President Barack Obama has taken first step to make climate change threat a national security issue.
He signed a Presidential Memorandum requiring the federal government to “fully consider” the impacts of climate change in the development and implementation of all national security policies and plans.
It directs 20 agencies from across the government to establish a working group to identify the nation’s security priorities related to climate issues, instructs them to develop a Climate Change and National Security Action Plan and asks each department to develop strategies to address these threats.
The system this memorandum puts into place will ensure data and insights from climate science become a meaningful component of national security policymaking, the Obama Administration stated.
It added Mr Obama’s memorandum follows a report by the National Intelligence Council which finds climate change is already having significant impacts and they are “likely to pose significant national security challenges for the United States over the next two decades”.
The Administration added: “It’s imperative that policymakers have clear and accurate information and assessments to weigh how the impacts of climate change will affect our national security. Just as we work to defeat any adversary before they have the ability to attack, we must similarly prepare for and mitigate the impacts of climate change. The security of our nation – and the well-being of our world – depends on it.”
This week, UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May said the country will ratify the Paris Agreement this year.