Defense Bill Includes First-ever Global Warming Planning Requirement

Washington, DC (December 12, 2007)- The House of Representatives passed the Defense Authorization Bill, including for the first time a provision requiring that the effects of global warming be taken into consideration for future defense planning. The provision, Section 951, was derived from the Markey-Bartlett Global Climate Change Security Oversight Act (H.R. 1961), which was introduced in spring 2007.

“I’m very pleased that Congress has acted in this Defense Authorization Conference Report to require the assessment of the impact of climate change in our major defense planning documents,” said Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, Ranking Member of the Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. “Congress responded to the advice from 11-retired Admirals and Generals who concluded in a report this year by the Center for Naval Analyses that climate change is a ‘threat multiplier’ in many regions of the world.”
This bill will now require that all global warming impacts be assessed in defense planning, and that guidance for military planners be issued in upcoming versions of three central defense planning documents: the National Security Strategy, the National Defense Strategy, and the Quadrennial Defense Review.
Also, he Council on Foreign Relations has released a special report titled Climate Change and National Security: An Agenda for Action, looking at the many threats posed by climate change. The report, which was cosponsored by the Center for Geoeconomic Studies, offers a “portfolio of feasible and affordable policy options to reduce the vulnerability of the United States and other countries to the predictable effects of climate change.” The report is authored by Joshua Busby, an assistant professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and term member of Council on Foreign Relations. Busby argues that reducing greenhouse gas emissions “are essential to avoid unmanageable security problems,” helping to bring China and India into a global rules-based order and stabilize important countries such as Indonesia.
Related Resources:
Defense Authorization Bill
Council on Foreign Relations Report on Climate Change and National Security