In its first update to the U.S. National Security Strategy, the Trump administration has removed climate change from its list of major threats to the country, several news outlets reported. The decision puts the administration at odds with the Pentagon, which has for years made military decisions with climate change in mind.
The new plan released Monday, the first update to U.S. security strategy since 2015, shifts the nation’s priorities to border control and regaining competitiveness in the global economy, particularly against China and Russia, which it calls “revisionist” powers, according to the New York Times. Climate change was first added to the U.S. National Security Strategy in 2015 by the Obama administration.
The one area climate change is addressed is in the policy’s energy section. “U.S. leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economy and energy security interests,” the conservative news site The Federalist quotes from a draft of the new strategy. “Given future global energy demand, much of the developing world will require fossil fuels, as well as other forms of energy, to power their economies and lift their people out of poverty.”
The administration’s decision to remove climate change as a security threat runs counter to both the views of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who argued unsuccessfully that the U.S. should stay in the Paris Climate Agreement, and Defense Secretary James Mattis. “Climate change is impacting the stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today,” Mattis wrote in unpublished testimony to Congress after his confirmation hearing.