President Joe Biden visited the U.S. Air Force Base in Suffolk, England, on Wednesday, marking his first overseas trip as president, and delivered a speech there to U.S. troops.
He mentioned that he had consulted with military leaders to determine the greatest foreign and domestic dangers to the country. Biden said that rather than terrorism, China or some other challenge emerging on the international stage, their response was climate change.
“You know, when I was in the Pentagon tank and first elected vice president along with President Obama, the military sat us down to let us know what the biggest threats were. America faced the greatest physical threats. “
“This is no joke. You know what the Joint Chiefs told us the greatest threat to America was?
“Global warming,” Biden said.
He claimed that the reasoning of military leaders for placing climate change so high on the list was geopolitical byproducts, such as the displacement of land and relocation to new ones.
“Because there will be major population movements, fighting for land, millions of people leaving the area because they are literally sinking under the sea in Indonesia. Because of the fighting over arable land, ”Biden said.
He told the soldiers that “We must all commit to ambitious climate action if we are to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, by limiting the global warning – warming – to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.”
The Commander-in-Chief stressed the need to facilitate the “global transition to clean energy technology”.
Biden’s comments come after the development that the U.S. military plans to prioritize climate change as a serious national security threat, a memo revealed. The military is committed to tackling climate change with new risk analyzes, threat projections, facility and natural resource planning, supply chain sourcing considerations and overall strategy.
The military statement echoes that of Biden, saying the effects of climate change can cause “humanitarian disasters, undermine weak governments and contribute to long-term social and economic disruption.”
Vice President Kamala Harris, who has been tasked with handling the growing crisis on the southern border, argued that climate change is a “root cause” of migration. Harris attended a joint press conference with the President of Guatemala on Tuesday, in which she reiterated the role climate change plays in uprooting families to find a new home in another country. When a reporter asked why Harris had not yet visited the U.S. border with Mexico, she said she focused on the underlying catalysts of migration, taking diplomatic trips, rather than making “Big gestures”.