On Wednesday, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence convened a hearing to examine the national security implications of climate change.
“Climate change effects could undermine important international systems on which the U.S. is critically dependent, such as trade routes, food and energy supplies, the global economy, and domestic stability abroad,” Rod Schoonover, a State Department intelligence officer, told members of the House Intelligence Committee. “Most countries, if not all, are already unable to fully respond to the risks posed by climate-linked hazards under present conditions.
“I’d be hard pressed to say that [climate change] is not in the top two or three [global threats],” he added.
“Scientists tell us that the Arctic is warming at rates more than twice as fast as the rest of the earth,” Peter Kiemel, Counselor for the National Intelligence Council said, noting that “these conditions would drastically shorten” maritime routes. “As a result..the Arctic is emerging as a new domain of strategic competition.” In written testimony, he outlined the risk and conditions climate change is likely to exacerbate, including the potential for political and economic unrest in some countries; social and political tensions in both partner nations and elsewhere; risks to human and animal health; and disruptive human migration.
Interested in more? Watch this clip from the hearing.