House Vote Affirms Climate Change Is a National Security Threat

Statement of EDF Action President Elizabeth Thompson – July 13, 2017

July 13, 2017

Contact:

Sharyn Stein, sstein@edactionfund.org, (202) 572-3396

NEWS RELEASE

(Washington, D.C. – July 13, 2017) The U.S. House of Representatives today rejected an effort to strip bipartisan climate change provisions from the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

An amendment by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) that would have removed those provision failed by a vote of 185 to 234.

“Today’s vote shows that common sense can prevail in Congress on the issue of climate change,” said Elizabeth Thompson, president of EDF Action. “Congress, and all Americans should support our military being well-informed about the risks caused by climate change and prepared to effectively address any global instability it causes. Congress has a long way to go to meet its responsibilities to address climate change, but it is encouraging to see Republicans and Democrats working together for military preparedness.”

The provisions in question were sponsored by Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and added to the National Defense Authorization Act by a bipartisan vote in the House Armed Services Committee. The language says,“climate change is a direct threat to the national security of the United States and is impacting stability in areas of the world both where the United States Armed Forces are operating today, and where strategic implications for future conflict exist.”

The provisions require a report to Congress on “vulnerabilities to military installations and combatant commander requirements resulting from climate change over the next 20 years.”

Defense experts – including Secretary of Defense James Mattis – say climate change is a threat to our national security and contributes to global instability. During his confirmation proceedings, Mattis told Congress, “climate change can be a driver of instability, and the Department of Defense must pay attention to potential adverse impacts generated by this phenomenon.”

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