Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly


Bishop Garrison


Climate change is having a direct effect on the United States as well as the rest of the world. The national security community has long identified climate change as an ongoing security threat. For decades, plans of action have been established to address it, but the issue is still treated from a more partisan space than with the heft of a danger with lasting consequences. If national security leaders have deemed it a hazard, it follows that the leader of the Free World-the president of the United States-has a duty under the U.S. Constitution to protect against such a threat. Through constitutional jurisprudence, as well as domestic and international trends in countering climate change through regulation and investment in renewable energy, this Essay identifies the responsibilities of the President, as well as Congress, concerning national security in addressing climate change. As climate change is a threat to national security, the president has a clear responsibility to reduce and eliminate this threat. In the absence of executive action, it is the responsibility of Congress to hold the executive accountable and force action.