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US security experts urge international climate change action

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 26 Feb 2013 04:00 GMT
Author: Reuters Point Carbon
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SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 25 (Reuters Point Carbon) – A group of 38 U.S. national security experts have urged Congress to support international efforts to help poor countries adapt to climate change, saying that failure to do so will create global instability and undermine U.S. security.

In an open letter released on Monday, the bipartisan group said the U.S. must back efforts to combat climate-driven displacement, support disaster risk reduction measures, and promote sustainable food, water and energy systems overseas, especially in poor regions.

“As a matter of risk management, the United States must work with international partners, public and private, to address this impending crisis,” the experts said in the letter.

“Potential consequences are undeniable, and the cost of inaction, paid for in lives and valuable U.S. resources, will be staggering. Washington must lead on this issue now.”

The letter comes as the U.S. faces a fragile economic recovery, which could be made worse by the possible onset of across-the-board spending cuts at the end of the week if Congress can’t come to an agreement, cuts that would also impact the military.

The signatories include seventeen former senators and Congress members, nine retired generals and admirals, both the chair and vice chair of the 9/11 Commission, and cabinet and cabinet-level officials from the Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush (41), Clinton, and Bush (43) administrations.

(By Rory Carroll – rory.carroll@thomsonreuters.com)

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