POLITICS

Obama's National Security Strategy Lists Climate Change Among 'Top Strategic Risks' To U.S.

02/06/2015 02:01 pm ET | Updated Feb 08, 2015
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration's new national security strategy, released Friday, puts a top priority on climate change, calling it "an urgent and growing threat."

Climate change, the strategy says, is "contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources like food and water."

The strategy lists climate change as one of eight "top strategic risks" to U.S. interests, along with a catastrophic attack on the U.S., threats or attacks against citizens abroad, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

"The present day effects of climate change are being felt from the Arctic to the Midwest. Increased sea levels and storm surges threaten coastal regions, infrastructure, and property," states the strategy. "In turn, the global economy suffers, compounding the growing costs of preparing and restoring infrastructure."

The strategy touts the commitment the U.S. has made to cutting emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, as well as the work on developing "an ambitious new global climate change agreement."

"It's a strategy to promote our values in a world where no ocean, no fence, and no firewall can shield us from the reality of threats across the globe," said Secretary of State John Kerry in a statement Friday. "In the 21st Century, next door is everywhere."

National security leaders have previously raised concerns about climate change. The Pentagon released a report last October on climate change, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has also highlighted climate change as a threat multiplier.

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