Anna Sheffer
December 18, 2017 8:21 am
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Since his inauguration in January, President Donald Trump has fought to undo the legacy of President Barack Obama. And, once again, Trump appears to be reversing Obama-era decisions. The president is expected to drop climate change from the national security strategy‘s list of threats.

Trump will present the strategy during a speech this afternoon, December 18th. Although the policy says that climate policies will “continue to shape the global energy system,” it does not recognize climate change as a threat to national security. Instead, it addresses the climate as part of a section referred to as “energy dominance.” The NSS during the Obama administration, on the other hand, prioritized climate change.

In contrast, the Pentagon does consider climate change a threat to security due to the increasing strength of storms, rising sea levels, and refugees fleeing severe weather. The Fourth Annual Climate Assessment, issued by the national government in November, stated that climate change is caused by human activity and warned that it will lead to natural disasters such as heatwaves and flooding.

In June, Trump announced his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, an agreement signed by 195 countries to commit to reducing their carbon footprints. The president has long denied the reality of climate change on Twitter, his preferred outlet of communication.

Trump’s address is expected to focus on his “America First” approach to foreign policy and highlight China and Russia as competitors.

The Trump administration’s decision to no longer list climate change as a security threat is not surprising — but it is discouraging. Each year has been getting consistently warmer than the last, and it’s obvious that we need to combat climate change in the immediate hour. We need a government that will stand up for the protection of our planet, not stand in its way. Hopefully the Trump administration will realize how urgent climate change is to us now and to our descendants in the future.

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