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Heck Climate Security Provisions Included in FY21 Intelligence Authorization Act

Jul 31, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10) supported the passage of the Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and applauded the Committee’s renewed commitment to preparing for the national security threats posed by climate change.

In addition to making the Climate Security Advisory Council permanent, the bill also directs the Council to create a plan and timeline toward establishing a centralized center within the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to analyze climate security threats. The new center would help identify when and where future conflicts will arise due to climate change.

“The climate crisis is a geopolitical crisis.” said Heck. “As extreme weather intensifies around the globe, already tense relations will be strained by food and water shortages and mass migration. Critical defense infrastructure will be endangered by rising sea levels. In strengthening the Climate Security Advisory Council, I’m proud that our Committee has redoubled our commitment toward preparing for climate change, while also mandating that the Intelligence Community study and report back to us what resources, tools and data it needs to keep up with this reality.”

“Today’s Committee authorization bill and the provision by my colleague Congressman Heck reinforces that the Intelligence Community must continue leaning far forward in how it tracks and analyzes climate change’s geopolitical, ecological, and societal implications on our national life,” said Chairman Adam Schiff. “A changing climate poses an array of complex, interlocking threats to U.S. national security interests at home and abroad in the coming years and decades, and we need our intelligence professionals to approach such cross-cutting challenges in a coordinated, integrated fashion – and the permanently codified Council is intended to do just that.”

Heck first proposed a centralized office within ODNI dedicated to studying the national security implications of climate change in H.R. 3110, the Climate Security Intelligence Act. This bill was repurposed into Section 401 of the Damon Paul Nelson and Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2018, 2019, and 2020, which established the Climate Security Advisory Council.

Congressman Heck is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

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