EnergySource

The 2018 Worldwide Threat Assessment, released on February 13, includes climate change among the identified threats to global stability. While many have pointed to the gap between this assessment and the rhetoric of US President Donald J. Trump—and the noticeable absence of climate change from his administration’s 2017 National Security Strategy—the worldwide threat assessment underscores a continuity in the identification of climate change as a security challenge across broad swaths of the US government. However, the mention of climate change as a threat is less criticism directed at the White House than reiteration of a consistent theme found in past Worldwide Threat Assessments.   

Climate change has been included in the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s assessments, which began in 2006, for many years. Climate change was first included in the 2009 Worldwide Threat Assessment, and the language in the 2018 assessment about the impact on food, energy, and water resources, echoes similar themes. 

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US President Donald J. Trump delivered his first State of the Union in Washington on January 30, 2018.

Read the address here.

Trump touched on a diverse set of topics. We asked our analysts their thoughts on what the president had to say. Here is their take:

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This article is part of a series that reflects on the first year of the Trump administration. 

In the first year of his administration, US President Donald J. Trump pursued what he called an “America First” energy strategy, seeking to maximize domestic production of oil and gas resources by rolling back regulations, lifting restrictions, and opening additional land up for development.

What was US policy prior to Trump? In the closing days of his administration, former US President Barack Obama announced what was intended to be a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic. Given the fragility of Arctic ecosystems and the operational risks of drilling in such a harsh environment, he withdrew the Chukchi Sea and most of the Beaufort Sea from oil and gas leasing, exploration, and development.

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This article is part of a series that reflects on the first year of the Trump administration.

Despite the fanfare surrounding US President Donald J. Trump’s June 1, 2017, announcement that he was pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement there is a drawn-out legal process for withdrawing from the pact.

What was US policy prior to Trump? In 2015, heads of state from around the world gathered in Paris to finalize a non-binding, bottom-up climate change accord, the Paris Agreement. The agreement, which entered into force in 2016, now includes every country in the world, and is most notable for being the first climate pact to require all countries—including major emerging economies such as China and India—to monitor and report their greenhouse gas emissions levels, and to put forth plans for reducing these emissions. Targets and reporting are mandated, but compliance with these targets—as well as the policies put in place to achieve them—is not legally binding.

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