WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, members of the Climate Solutions Caucus met with former military and defense officials to discuss the linkages between climate and national security. This meeting occurred as the Senate is preparing to consider the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act and follows the Administration’s January 2019 Report on Effects of a Changing Climate to the Department of Defense.

Panelists included three national security experts: John Conger, Director of the Center for Climate and Security; Alexandra Hackbarth, Director of Climate and Energy Security at the American Security Project; and Matt Borron, Executive Director for the Association of Defense Communities. The event was organized with the help of the Environmental Defense Fund.

“Climate impacts like extreme weather and sea level rise are a direct threat to our defense infrastructure here in the U.S. and around the world. Climate change is also a threat multiplier, making already fragile situations more unstable,” said Senator Coons, co-chair of the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus. “I’m glad that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle could join today to hear how and why Congress should address climate change as part of our strategic security planning.”

“This Climate Solutions Caucus panel was an educational look into how environmental factors affect our defense operations here in the U.S. and abroad. I’m glad we could welcome distinguished experts in national security to brief our bipartisan group on how these issues intersect as we prepare to consider the National Defense Authorization Act,” said Senator Mike Braun, co-chair of the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus. 

The Senate Climate Solutions Caucus promotes bipartisan discussion about climate policy and advocates for Congress to play a central role in addressing the challenge. Since launching in late 2019, the caucus has held regular meetings with a variety of stakeholders to discuss their concerns and priorities for federal climate policy and opportunities for collaboration. For more about the caucus’ activities, please visit the caucus website here.