Obama says climate change threatens national security

US president says climate change poses security threats to nation and urges lawmakers to act against it

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that climate change is “indisputable” and it poses a national security threat.

"I'm here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security," Obama said

Obama used a commencement address at the US Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut to urge the lawmakers to act on the issue and called refusing to act on it  “dereliction of duty.”

"It will impact how our military defends our country. And so we need to act — and we need to act now," the president said.

"Denying it or refusing to deal with it endangers our national security. It undermines the readiness of our forces."

Obama has been pressing for action on the issue of climate change recently presenting it as a matter of health and international obligation to future generations.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande expressed their commitment to work against global warming on Tuesday in a preparatory gathering in Berlin for the upcoming UN Climate Conference.

In a joint statement, the European leaders said they are “firmly decided to take all efforts to reach an ambitious, comprehensive and binding UN climate agreement by the end of this year in Paris.”

Obama is facing domestic opposition from a Republican dominated Congress which opposes measures saying it would hurt US economy while some members go as far as questioning scientific bases for climate change.

“I know there are still some folks back in Washington who refuse to admit that climate change is real,” Obama said.

“The science is indisputable … The planet is getting warmer.”

The US is the second largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world only surpassed by China and faces international criticism and pressure to reduce its emissions.

TRTWorld and agencies