Spanberger Helps Pass Legislation to Tackle the National Security Threat of Climate Change, Require Evidence-Based Strategy to Reduce Emissions

The Congresswoman Helped Introduce the Legislation, Which Would Require the United States to Remain in the Paris Climate Accord. A Former CIA Case Officer, Spanberger has Continued to Stress the Need to Address Climate Change as a National Security Imperative

***VIDEO/AUDIO: Spanberger Delivers Floor Speech Yesterday in Support of Climate Action Now Act***

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today joined a majority of the U.S. House in passing legislation to help tackle the ongoing national security threat and environmental damage of climate change.

Spanberger voted to pass the Climate Action Now Act of 2019, which she helped introduce last month to reassert U.S. leadership in global efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change. The Spanberger-supported bill would require the administration to remain in the Paris Climate Accord. Additionally, the bill would push the administration to develop an evidence-based plan for how the United States can best reduce emission levels in cooperation with the agreement.

Yesterday, Spanberger spoke on the floor of the U.S. House in support of the Climate Action Now Act. During her remarks, Spanberger described the destabilizing effects that climate change and extreme weather can have on fragile governments, conflict zones, and food and water scarcity—and she called on the administration and her fellow lawmakers to recognize the fight against environmental damage as a national security imperative. Click here for a video of her full speech.

“The United States cannot afford to retreat from the battle against climate change. We must commit to using all diplomatic, economic, and defense options to combat ongoing ecological devastation—and our country needs to keep its environmental commitments with our key allies and partners,” said Spanberger. “Today, I was proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my colleagues as we stressed the importance of continued U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Accord—a critical agreement that strengthens worldwide efforts to reduce emissions. Our world faces significant challenges in the coming decades, and the stakes are far too great for our country to stand on the sidelines. I’ll keep fighting to protect Central Virginia’s clean air and water—and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to take up this important legislation to maintain our resilience against the national security threat of climate change.”

The Spanberger-backed Climate Action Now Act would prohibit any federal funds from being used to the withdrawal of the United States from the landmark Paris Agreement. Additionally, it calls on the President to develop and make public a plan for how the United States will meet its commitments to reduce pollution.

A January 2019 report from the Pentagon found that the effects of a changing climate present serious nationals security concerns and could negatively impact U.S. Department of Defense missions, operational plans, and installations. The report also identified dozens of military sites that face both short-term and long-term threats from climate change. Additionally, the Director of National Intelligence emphasized in a report earlier this year that the United States will need to manage the impact of “environmental degradation and climate change.”

The Climate Action Now Act is led by U.S. Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL-14).

Background

A former Central Intelligence Agency case officer, Spanberger has continued to stress the national security threat posed by climate change. Earlier this month, she asked U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a series of questions related to U.S. intelligence threat assessments—including those related to climate change.

Spanberger serves as Vice-Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment. On this Committee, her responsibilities include oversight of legislation related to global energy trends, energy security, and the environment.

During a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing focused on the threat of climate change, Spanberger called on the administration to further examine how U.S. isolation in the fight against climate change could hamper international progress on reducing emissions. Click here to watch an excerpt of her remarks.

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