September 17, 2021

Neguse Introduces Legislative Package to Advance National Security Interests Through Climate Action

The five bills introduced by Neguse aim to address potential threats posed by climate crisis impacts

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Joe Neguse, member of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and Chair of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands introduced a package of legislation aimed at reforming Department of Defense (DOD) protocols to better report, classify, and address climate-related national security risks. The bills address the ways in which the American security apparatus approaches the impacts of more frequent and more severe extreme weather events caused by climate change.

“The climate crisis is, in my mind, one of the greatest threat our country faces today,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “Around the world, we can see tensions escalating as extreme weather events force people from their homes and create resource scarcities. Ensuring that America’s national security apparatus stands ready to address the impacts of climate change and is a proactive leader in reducing our carbon emissions is a necessary step. I am proud to introduce this package of legislation, and I urge my colleagues to support our effort to prepare the DOD for future climate impacts.”

The five bills introduced by Neguse include:

  • Climate Science for Readiness Resolution: Establishes that the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report (AR6) should be utilized to ensure DOD bases and installations have climate resilient infrastructure;
  • Defense Energy Efficiency Act: Amends the DOD building code standards to include modern energy efficiency standards, reducing the carbon footprint of the United States’ military presence;
  • Securing Technology Against Climate Act: Updates reporting standards for discussion of the vulnerabilities of the National Technology and Industrial Base to include cyberattacks and the current and future impacts of climate change;
  • Local Resiliency Act: Expands the DOD’s authority to protect local communities supporting military bases and state-owned National Guard posts from the impacts of climate change;
  • Climate Security Jobs Act: Provides relief to caps on civilian personnel that can serve in positions responsible for addressing climate resilience, energy security and assurance, PFAS contamination, and vulnerabilities due to environmental risks.

In addition to being introduced as standalone pieces of legislation, Congressman Neguse introduced all five measures as amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

This legislative package represents the latest in Neguse’s efforts to address the national security threats posed by the climate crisis. In 2020, he and Representative Spanberger introduced the Climate Readiness Act of 2020, which directed the DOD to report on security threats caused by climate change. This was in response to former President Trump’s decision to strike mentions of climate change from the U.S. National Security Strategy in 2017.

Since entering office in 2019, Congressman Neguse has fought for climate action and has introduced several pieces of legislation aimed at combating the climate crisis. These policies have ranged from wildfire recovery and mitigation to climate resiliency efforts to his proposal for a 21st Century Climate Conservation Corps—modeled after the CCC of the 1930’s.