Top National Security Leaders Call for Bipartisan Cooperation on Climate Action

Top National Security Leaders Call for Bipartisan Cooperation on Climate Action

On September 8, the Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) released a statement signed by 32 high-level former Congressional and military officials calling for bipartisan cooperation in Congress on climate change because of its national security implications. “Climate change is a national security issue,” the statement declared, and requires “a clear, comprehensive, realistic and broadly bipartisan plan to address our role in the climate change crisis. If we fail to take action now, we will have little hope of influencing other countries to reduce their own harmful contributions to climate change, or of forging a coordinated international response.” Among the signatories were Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan (Ret.), former U.S. Army Chief of Staff; Sen. John Warner (R-VA); R. James Woolsey, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; and Robert McFarlane, former National Security Advisor for President Reagan. “Some may be surprised to hear former generals and admirals talk about climate change and clean energy," said Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn (Ret.), another signer. “But they shouldn't be, because in the military we learn quickly that reducing threats and vulnerabilities is essential well before you get into harm's way. Our dependence on all fossil fuels poses threats to the military mission and the country at large.”

EESI held a briefing for Congressional staff on September 10 that highlighted the security risks associated with our reliance on fossil fuels and how the Department of Defense is addressing the issue. Admiral John Nathman (Ret.) of CNA's Military Advisory Board made the recommendation that energy security and climate change goals should be integrated into our national security and military planning processes, while representatives from the Navy and Air Force discussed the energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives underway in the armed services. Video and presentations from this briefing are available here.