Defense Bill Could Mandate a Report on Climate Change (Rep. Roscoe Bartlett)

The House Armed Services Committee included a requirement for an assessment of the impact of climate change on current and future Department of Defense missions as part of H.R. 1585, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008.  The Defense Authorization bill was approved by a unanimous vote of 58-0.

Separately, the Intelligence Authorization Act, H.R. 2082, up for a vote later this evening includes a requirement for a National Intelligence Estimate about the impact of climate change.  The provisions in both the Intelligence Authorization bill and the National Defense Authorization Act are derived from a bill that I introduced with Congressman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) requiring a National Intelligence Estimate assessing the security challenges arising from global warming. The Markey-Bartlett Global Climate Change Security Oversight Act, H.R. 1961, was introduced last month.

This is the description of the provision in H.R. 1585 from a news release distributed by the House Armed Services Committee.  Climate change requires the National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy and Quadrennial Defense Review to include consideration of the risks posed by climate change to current and future DOD missions.

I want to thank Chairman Skelton (D-Mo.) for including in the Defense Authorization bill a provision I requested to assess the impact on national security of climate change.  Assessing the impact of climate change on national security in a National Intelligence Estimate, National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy and the Quadrennial Defense Review were specifically called for in the first recommendation in a recent study by 11 retired three and four star Generals and Admirals.

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