The Trump administration is opting to drop climate change from its list of threats to national security in favor of stressing a U.S. need to reclaim global economic advantage, marking a major shift from the National Security Strategy of the previous administration.
White House officials said on Sunday the Trump NSS was the culmination of 11 months of collaboration between all the leading security, foreign policy and economic agencies of government. The exclusion of climate change as a national security threat appears however to conflict with views previously expressed by the defense secretary, James Mattis.
The move comes as little surprise, considering the administration's previous remarks on climate change. In a June speech,
Trump declared “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris” and alleged the agreement “hamstrings the United States while empowering some of the world’s top polluting countries”.
Commenting on the primary difference between this administration's focus and its predecessors, a senior administration official said the emphasis is on both border and economic security.
“The economic piece … gets much more attention,” the official said. “The insistence that economic security is national security.”