Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) announced today that the Senate Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 includes a provision to require the Department of Defense to consider the national security risks posed by global warming in the National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy and Quadrennial Defense Review. Senator Clinton offered the provision as an amendment to the bill during committee markup yesterday, and it was approved by a 19-6 vote. The bill was released to the public today.
"Global warming poses many risks, and national security is part of the equation," said Senator Clinton. "We need to start considering how global warming will impact our national security interests, and my amendment will help to begin that process at the Department of Defense."
The Clinton amendment implements many of the recommendations of a report authored by eleven retired three and four-star admirals and generals and released by the CNA Corporation in April. The study, "National Security and the Threat of Climate Change," concluded that global warming presents a "serious national security threat." The study examines how projected climate changes, such as rising sea levels, more intense tropical storms, increased flooding and drought, will have destabilizing impacts, including reduced access to fresh water, impaired food production, and displacement of major populations. The study concludes that these impacts could act as a "threat multiplier" and increase the potential for failed states, cause mass migrations that add to global tensions, and increase conflict over resources.
Senator Clinton's amendment tracks a provision included in the House version of the Defense Authorization bill, which was approved by the House on May 17.