More than 100 lawmakers call on Trump to designate climate change a security threat

More than 100 lawmakers call on Trump to designate climate change a security threat
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A bipartisan group of more than 100 House lawmakers are urging President TrumpDonald John TrumpLieu: There will be 'widespread civil unrest' if Trump fires Mueller Attorneys for Trump, Mueller hold face-to-face meeting to discuss potential interview topics: report Trump tariffs not helpful for nuclear talks, South Korea says MORE to name climate change a major security threat after he declined to include it in the administration’s  national security strategy.

In a letter sent to the White House Thursday, 106 members, including 11 Republicans, implore Trump to “reconsider this omission.”

“We have heard from scientists, military leaders, and civil personnel who believe that climate change is indeed a direct threat to America’s national security and to the stability of the world at large,” write Reps. Jim LangevinJames (Jim) R. LangevinOvernight Cybersecurity: Trump-linked data firm Cambridge Analytica attracts scrutiny | House passes cyber response team bill | What to know about Russian cyberattacks on energy grid Lawmakers press for 7 million to fully fund cybersecurity program House votes to add requirements for Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits MORE (D-R.I.) and Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikOvernight Cybersecurity: Trump unveils new sanctions on Russia | Feds say Russian hackers targeted US energy grid | NSA nominee sails through second confirmation hearing House Armed Services leaders urge Trump to boost State's foreign propaganda fight Speaker Ryan, you have the power to help end sexual harassment in the workplace MORE (R-N.Y.), who co-authored the letter.

“As global temperatures become more volatile, sea levels rise, and landscapes change, our military installations and our communities are increasingly at risk of devastation. It is imperative that the United States address this growing geopolitical threat.”

The letter goes on to quote Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisThis week: Congress races to prevent third shutdown Week ahead in defense: Spending bill, Yemen vote top agenda The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE, who said in his confirmation hearing that “the effects of a changing climate ... will impact our security situation.”

Lawmakers even included such warnings in the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, calling climate change “a direct threat to the national security of the United States.” Trump signed the NDAA into law in December.

Leaving out climate change breaks with the Obama administration, which last year said it considers climate change a national security threat.

“Failing to recognize this threat in your National Security Strategy represents a significant step backwards on this issue and discredits those who deal in scientific fact,” the letter states.

Langevin in July offered an amendment to the NDAA that would require the Pentagon to conduct a study on the impact of climate change on U.S. military installations and to report to Congress the installations most vulnerable to a changing climate. 

The language made it in to the final bill, and requires Mattis to submit to Congress “a report on the vulnerability to military installations and combatant commander requirements resulting from climate change over the next 20 years.”

But Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said last month that the National Defense Strategy, which marks the direction and priorities for the Pentagon, will not mention climate change.

“We don't specifically address climate change. ... There is only so much, you know, depth and breadth. ... It really reflects the high priorities of the department,” Shanahan told reporters at the Pentagon.