President Obama issued a policy directive on Wednesday requiring the impacts of climate change to be considered when developing national security plans and policies.
The memorandum impacts the military and all major security agencies.
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"To achieve this, 20 Federal agencies and offices with climate science, intelligence analysis, and national security policy development missions and responsibilities will collaborate to ensure the best information on climate impacts is available to strengthen our national security," the White House announced in a statement Wednesday.
Alice Hill, the White House special assistant to the president, told reporters that the directive will "prioritize climate threats" while identifying the key risks to national security, according to the Washington Examiner. Hill said the threats from climate change "are already here and anticipated to grow."
The memo aims to ground U.S. policy in confronting global conflicts that are increasing because of climate change, Hill said, according to the Examiner. It also notes the threats of climate change to military readiness, including rising sea levels.
"There is current and growing attention paid by national security experts to ways in which climate impacts are adversely affecting national security now, and will stress national security even more dramatically in the coming decades," the White House statement read.