Energy independence, climate change and national security are interrelated global challenges. U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy constitutes a serious threat—militarily, socially and economically. Predicted impacts of climate change include more frequent and intense storms and droughts, inundation of low-lying areas due to sea level rise, changing patterns of agriculture and an increase in "environmental refugees" fleeing worsening conditions. By stoking instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world and, in turn, threatening America's security, climate change is acting as a "threat multiplier."
Pew’s work highlights the critical links between national security, energy independence, the economy and climate change. In 2009, former Sen. John W. Warner joined with the project to engage state and municipal governments, local organizations and experts to address the climate-security nexus. A veteran of two wars and one of the nation's most distinguished defense experts, Sen. Warner recognizes the expanding roles and missions of our armed forces due to increasing humanitarian disasters and international conflicts over resources, both of which are exacerbated by climate change and our dependence on foreign oil.
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In 2014, the Department of Defense consumed more than 87 million barrels of petroleum fuels, enabling U.S. forces to operate worldwide. That enormous demand, however, could also be a vulnerability, according to the department’s 2016 Operational Energy Strategy, which updates the original energy strategy released in 2011. Read More
Charles H. “Chuck” Jacoby Jr. is a retired four-star Army general with 36 years’ experience leading military, government, and international organizations. He was the first Army officer to lead the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the organization of the U.S. and Canada that manages aerospace warning and control operations in North America. Jacoby now is a senior vice... Read More
Extreme Weather—Our Nation’s Response
The expert panel discussed trends in extreme weather over the past decade and the impact of more frequent and more complex weather events on national preparedness and on the United States' natural disaster response framework.