US intelligence services said for the first time on Thursday that climate change poses far-reaching threats to US national security and stability around the world.
The more extreme weather “will increasingly exacerbate a number of risks to America’s national security interests, from physical impacts that could turn into security challenges, to how countries respond to the climate challenge,” the White House said in a statement. summary of intelligence reports.
The prediction was made in the first official assessment by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, or ODNI, which oversees America’s sprawling intelligence apparatus.
The document “represents the consensus opinion of all 18” elements of the intelligence community, the White House said.
According to the agencies, climate change is driving “increased geopolitical tension as countries argue over who should do more,” cross-border “hot spots” as countries respond to the impact of climate change by trying to secure their own interests and the consequences of the climate on national stability in some countries.
On a practical level, US national security agencies will integrate the effects of climate change into their planning, the White House said.
The Pentagon, for example, will consider climate change “at all levels, which will be essential to train, fight and win in an increasingly complex environment.”
Migration, a politically sensitive issue on the U.S. southern border, will also be viewed in part through the lens of climate change, the White House said.
“This assessment marks the first time the US government has officially recognized and reported this link.”
The report was released just before the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, which President Joe Biden will attend.
“With more than 85 percent of global emissions coming from beyond US borders, we alone cannot solve this challenge. We need the rest of the world to accelerate its progress,” a senior US official told reporters, calling for not be identified.
“It is definitely a security problem and a national security problem.”
A separate government report issued later on Thursday characterized the weather-related risk as “an emerging threat to the financial stability of the United States,” according to the Financial Stability Oversight Board.
The recommendations included directives for regulators to require additional climate disclosures from companies and other regulated entities and consider mandates to conduct a “scenario analysis” on climate outcomes.
“This report puts climate change squarely on the top of the agenda,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told a meeting of the FSOC, which was set up after the 2008 financial crisis.
Yellen described the report as a “critical first step” and called for immediate action, saying “the longer we wait to address the underlying causes of climate change, the greater the risk.”