U.S. international interests, such as economics and trade, international development and humanitarian assistance, national security, and transboundary resources, are affected by impacts from climate change, variability, and extreme events. Long-term changes in climate could lead to large-scale shifts in the global availability and prices of a wide array of agricultural, energy, and other goods, with corresponding impacts on the U.S. economy. Some U.S.-led businesses are already working to reduce their exposure to risks posed by a changing climate.
U.S. investments in international development are sensitive to climate-related impacts and will likely be undermined by more frequent and intense extreme events, such as droughts, floods, and tropical cyclones. These events can impede development efforts and result in greater demand for U.S. humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. In response, the U.S. government has funded adaptation programs that seek to reduce vulnerability to climate impacts in critical sectors.
Climate change, variability, and extreme events increase risks to national security through direct impacts on U.S. military infrastructure and, more broadly, through the relationship between climate-related stress on societies and conflict. Direct linkages between climate and conflict are unclear, but climate variability has been shown to affect conflict through intermediate processes, including resource competition, commodity price shocks, and food insecurity. The U.S. military is working to fully understand these threats and to incorporate projected climate changes into long-term planning.
The impacts of changing weather and climate patterns across U.S. international borders affect those living in the United States. The changes pose new challenges for the management of shared and transboundary resources. Many bilateral agreements and public–private partnerships are incorporating climate risk and adaptive management into their near- and long-term strategies.
U.S. cooperation with international and other national scientific organizations improves access to global information and strategic partnerships, which better positions the Nation to observe, understand, assess, and respond to the impacts associated with climate change, variability, and extremes on national interests both within and outside of U.S. borders.
Climate Effects on U.S. International Interests: Key Messages
- Economics & Trade
The impacts of climate change, variability, and extreme events outside the United States are affecting and are virtually certain to increasingly affect U.S. trade and economy, including import and export prices and businesses with overseas operations and supply chains.
- International Aid
The impacts of climate change, variability, and extreme events can slow or reverse social and economic progress in developing countries, thus undermining international aid and investments made by the United States and increasing the need for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The United States provides technical and financial support to help developing countries better anticipate and address the impacts of climate change, variability, and extreme events.
- National Security
Climate change, variability, and extreme events, in conjunction with other factors, can exacerbate conflict, which has implications for U.S. national security. Climate impacts already affect U.S. military infrastructure, and the U.S. military is incorporating climate risks in its planning.
- Transboundary Resources
Shared resources along U.S. land and maritime borders provide direct benefits to Americans and are vulnerable to impacts from a changing climate, variability, and extremes. Multinational frameworks that manage shared resources are increasingly incorporating climate risk in their transboundary decision-making processes.
The “Climate Effects on U.S. International Interests” publication is available as a downloadable PDF at Link to Source…