U.S. National Security Strategy Cites Rising Temperatures as Urgent Threat

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By Dean Scott

Feb. 6 — Climate change is an “urgent and growing threat” to U.S. national security, the White House said in a Feb. 6 National Security Strategy, with rising global temperatures expected to trigger more natural disasters and increased flows of climate “refugees.”

Climate change is a theme throughout the White House National Security Strategy, with mentions of the issue found on about one-third of the report's total 29 pages. Among the strategies in the report for preparing the U.S. for those climate impacts is to strengthen the nation's energy security and increase “global access to reliable and affordable energy to bolster economic growth and development worldwide.”

Other climate-related strategies include more actions to confront the “crisis” of climate change, “including through national emissions reductions, international diplomacy, and our commitment to the Green Climate Fund,” the report said.

Green Climate Fund Highlighted

The Green Climate Fund is to provide financial assistance to vulnerable developing nations to help them adapt to rising sea level and other climate impacts. Developed nations pledged more than $10 billion to such funding by the end of 2014. The U.S. has pledged to provide $2 billion total to the green fund over four years.

The report also touts Obama administration efforts, both in domestic and in international approaches, to curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Over the last 6 years, U.S. emissions have declined by a larger total magnitude than those of any other country,” according to the report. The U.S. is able to make that claim in part because it measured progress against a high point in U.S. total emissions, which occurred before the economic collapse of 2008-2009.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dean Scott in Washington at dscott@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at lpearl@bna.com

A fact sheet on the National Security Strategy is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/02/06/fact-sheet-2015-national-security-strategy.