Obama Presidential Memorandum Sought to Embed Climate Change Impacts into National Security Planning


Lynne Howard

With the end of President Obama’s term, the outgoing president sought to ensure that climate change action would be incorporated into the next administration’s national security policies.  On September 21, 2016, Obama released a presidential memorandum to address the imminent and significant effects of climate change on national security by establishing a Climate and National Security Working Group (“Working Group”).  The Working Group’s purpose is to “ensure that climate change-related impacts are fully considered in the development of national security doctrine, policies, and plans” by coordinating “the development of a strategic approach to identify, assess, and share information on current and projected climate-related impacts on national security interests.”  Building on prior presidential directives and policies regarding the impacts of climate change, the presidential memorandum takes significant steps to ensure that the impacts of climate change are identified and incorporated into national security planning.


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