This bill — the Climate Change National Security Strategy Act of 2019 — would restore the core directives on national security and climate change that were included in a September 2016 memorandum from the Obama administration, which President Trump rescinded in March 2017.
The Obama memorandum in question, “Climate Change and National Security,” directed federal departments and agencies to ensure that climate change-related impacts are fully considered in the development of national security doctrine, policies, and plans. The memorandum also assembled a Climate and National Security Working Group, to be chaired by the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Assistance to the President for Science and Technology, and tasked it with: 1) coordinating the development of a strategic approach to identify, assess, and share information about current and projected climate-related impacts on national security interests and 2) informing the development of national security doctrine, policies, and plans. Finally, the Obama memorandum required each federal agency to develop an implementation plan to support a policy of considering climate change in their work.
The interagency Climate and National Security Working Group would include designees from the following federal departments: State, Treasury, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Energy, Homeland Security. It’d also include designees from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Office of the Director of National Intelligence, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Council on Environmental Quality, and Millennium Challenge Corporation.