Langevin Highlights Efforts to Address Impacts of Climate Change
WARWICK, R.I. — Today, in commemoration of the 5th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, Congressman Jim Langevin was joined by federal, state, and local officials, as well as environmental leaders, at the Aspray Boat House in Pawtuxet Village to highlight efforts to address the impacts of climate change. The recent wave of hurricanes that have battered the Southeast and the Caribbean have only underscored the need to promote climate resiliency. In addition to supporting these initiatives in Rhode Island, Langevin is currently leading an effort to assess the national security implications of global warming.
“It was just five years ago that Rhode Island experienced the wrath of Superstorm Sandy. Although we were spared from the recent hurricanes that devastated much of the Southeast and the Caribbean, they were a stark reminder that we have an obligation to address the impacts of climate change on many fronts,” said Congressman Langevin. “Climate change doesn’t just pose a threat to our environment, it poses a threat to the readiness of our armed forces and our long-term defense posture. I’m proud to be leading an effort that will determine the extent of that risk and promote climate resiliency for the safety of our communities and the security of our nation.”
Langevin authored an amendment, which was successfully included in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act, recognizing that climate change is a direct threat to the national security of the United States. The amendment directs the Secretary of Defense to provide an assessment of and recommendations to mitigate vulnerabilities to the top 10 most threatened military installations in each Service. It also requires the Secretary to address combatant commander requirements resulting from climate change over the next 20 years. In addition to receiving strong Democratic support, 46 Republicans voted to preserve the provision when an effort was made to strike it from the bill.
“Climate change is creating critical national security challenges around the world, and Congressman Langevin’s amendment helps to ensure that our Armed Forces are properly prepared and equipped to address these threats,” said Congressman Cicilline. “Congressional Republicans and President Trump have consistently worked to undermine our nation’s ability to mitigate the potential effects of climate change, but it’s a real testament to the urgency of this issue that 46 House Republican joined every Democratic member on the House floor to vote to protect this amendment. We need bold action to protect our national security against the threat of climate change, and I am proud to be a part of a Delegation that is leading this fight in Washington.”
“Warwick is far too familiar with the effects climate change has on coastal communities and because of the damage we have seen in past storms, including Superstorm Sandy and the Great Floods of 2010, the City is taking a multi-faceted approach to building climate resiliency,” said Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian.“Although these threats will impact communities, there needs to be a renewed focus on the growing direct threat it has to our national security. I’m pleased Congressman Langevin is championing this effort through his amendment to the NDAA that will help better prepare and protect our country and communities from those impacts.”
“There is no doubt that Rhode Island is facing climate change threats that can significantly change our shoreline and coastal environment. RICRMC has worked diligently to help Rhode Island adapt to these threats, including sea level rise,” said Grover Fugate, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council. “Acknowledging and planning for these risks will be critical to our states future and the safety of our armed forces which is why Congressman Langevin’s amendment is an important first step in this fight against climate change both on a local and national stage.”
“For nearly 50 years, Save the Bay has been laser-focused on protecting and preserving Narragansett Bay so future generations can enjoy this treasure, and we find Rhode Island’s 400+ miles of coastline now at the threshold of climate change effects,” said Executive Director of Save the Bay, Jonathan Stone. “There is no doubt the impacts a warming climate will have both on coastal communities and military installations here in Rhode Island and across the globe. Rhode Island is fortunate to have leaders who support policies to combat these risks and ensure our coastal communities and military bases, such as Naval Station Newport, are climate resilient.”
“We are experiencing the impacts of a changing climate here in Rhode Island and witnessing its threats across nation,” said Shaun O’Rourke, Rhode Island Chief Resiliency Officer. “I applaud the leadership highlighted in this amendment to better prepare our critical defense facilities and resources for a new climate reality.”