CIA climate-change unit closes its doors

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has shuttered its Center on Climate Change and National Security, an office created in 2009 to serve as the “focal point” of the agency’s work on the topic.

ADVERTISEMENT
CIA spokesman Todd Ebitz said the agency’s work on climate change has been transferred to a new office. 

“The CIA for several years has studied the national security implications of climate change. As part of a broader realignment of analytic resources, this work continues to be performed by a dedicated team in a new office that looks at economic and energy matters affecting America’s national security. The mission and the resources devoted to it remain essentially unchanged,” Ebitz said in a statement to The Hill.

The CIA is one of multiple federal agencies to explore the nexus between climate change and security — sometimes drawing GOP criticism in the process.

The CIA, in announcing the center in September 2009, said it would explore the “national security impact of phenomena such as desertification, rising sea levels, population shifts and heightened competition for natural resources.”

Greenwire, which broke the story, reported that the center “received little internal support” after Leon Panetta stepped down as CIA director to become Defense Secretary in 2011.

— This story was updated on Nov. 20 with a comment from the CIA.