Former Senator John Warner and the Pew Environment Group to Highlight Link Between National Security, Energy and Climate

Contact: Brandon MacGillis, 202.887.8830


Washington, DC - 07/14/2009 - Today, former Senator John Warner (R-VA) and the Pew Environment Group announced a new project to listen and share with the public viewpoints on the critical links between national security, energy and global warming. The Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate will bring together science and military policy experts to examine new strategies for combating climate change, protecting our national security, increasing our energy independence and preserving our nation’s natural resources.

"I am highly honored to join Pew’s efforts," said Senator John Warner. “I spent thirty years in the U.S. Senate working on behalf of our men and women in uniform serving our country and on the issues related to the impact of climate changes on their future military roles and missions. Leading military and security experts agree that if left unchecked, global warming could increase instability and lead to conflict in already fragile regions of the world. We ignore these facts at the peril of our national security and at great risk to those in uniform who serve this nation.”

Senator Warner served in the U.S. Navy during the final years of World War II, in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War, and was the Secretary of the Navy from 1972 to 1974. During his five terms in the U.S. Senate he was a Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and was the longest serving Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee. In 2006 he joined with Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), to co-sponsor the Climate Security Act, the only climate change bill passed by a Senate committee.

Numerous expert reports have documented the security challenges that unchecked global climate change could cause. The Central Intelligence Agency’s long-term forecasting arm, the National Intelligence Council, recently reported that global warming could directly impact the U.S. by threatening energy supplies, damaging military bases, increasing food and water shortages, and stressing the economy. In Congressional testimony earlier this year, director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair said “[t]he Intelligence Community judges global climate change will have important and extensive implications for U.S. national security interests over the next 20 years.” 

Similarly, a May 2009 CNA Military Advisory Board report identified a series of risks created by America’s energy policies and practices and warned that “business as usual is perilous because of the converging national security risks of energy demand and climate change.” Sherri Goodman, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of CNA and Executive Director of the CNA Military Advisory Board, said “Climate change is a threat multiplier and has the potential to add significantly to the mission burden of the U.S. military in regions around the world.”

The Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate is dedicated to advancing solutions to combat the threat of global warming, protect our national security, increase our energy independence, and preserve our nation's natural resources. Senator Warner will work exclusively with state and municipal governments, the Obama Administration, local organizations, and military, security and climate experts in select U.S. cities to address the climate-security nexus. Public events are scheduled in July in Missouri and South Carolina, with other events to occur in the fall and winter. For more information, visit www.pewclimatesecurity.org.

"We are honored that Senator Warner will serve as spokesperson for this project.  Few individuals have his depth of knowledge and experience on the energy, national security and environmental challenges facing our country and the world.  Our country needs to engage in an informed conversation on a clean energy future that makes America more secure,” said Josh Reichert, managing director of the Pew Environment Group.

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