Statement by The Nature Conservancy Regarding the Affirmation of Climate Change as a National Security Threat

July 14, 2017

The Nature Conservancy applauds the U.S. House of Representatives’ decision to retain the requirement that the Department of Defense consider climate change a direct threat to the national security of the United States, and therefore consider the strategic implications and vulnerabilities to military installations and missions in a report to Congress. 

An amendment, introduced by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), would have removed the language in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act saying that “climate change is a direct threat to the national security of the United States and is impacting stability in areas of the world both where the United States Armed Forces are operating today, and where strategic implications for future conflict exist.” The amendment was defeated by a vote of 185 to 234. 

“We’re very pleased to see that the House acknowledges the threat that climate change poses to our communities, our economy and our environment, and is not restricting the Defense Department’s ability to address climate impacts to its mission and to our nation’s defense,” says Lynn Scarlett, Managing Director, Public Policy of The Nature Conservancy. “Our troops deserve to be well-prepared with a full understanding of the effect climate change will have on their operations, and we thank all of those members of Congress that voted to ensure the Department of Defense continues to consider the impacts of climate change.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

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Kirsten Ullman
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