White House Report Identifies Climate Change as Major National Security Threat

The White House National Security Strategy for 2015, released in mid-February, identifies climate change as a significant risk to Americans both at home and abroad. Climate change is listed alongside threats such as terrorism and a nuclear Iran.

“Climate change is an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources like food and water,” the report states. “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. In turn, the global economy suffers, compounding the growing costs of preparing and restoring infrastructure.”

The report provides a broad view of U.S. climate change mitigation plans, including a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% of 2005 levels by 2025 and to cut the amount of carbon pollution released by power plants. Additionally, the report states the United States will continue to lead on climate-related issues and develop strategic partnerships with other nations to launch clean energy products and reduce greenhouse gases.

About Katie Regan

Katie Regan serves as the Communications Specialist for Environmental Health, Pandemic Preparedness, and Catastrophic Response at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices through NACCHO's various storytelling and communications channels. Twitter: @katiejregan

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