Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., reintroduced a bill last week that requires the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) arm to have a more direct hand in the research and development (R&D) of activities concerning climate change.
The Department of Homeland Security Climate Change Research Act will ensure that the DHS is prepared to confront and mitigate against the impacts of the climate crisis, including preparedness and emergency response from natural disasters, the April 27 press release says.
Specifically, the bill aims to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require the DHS Under Secretary for S&T to research and develop approaches to mitigate identified or potential negative effects of climate change on homeland security.
“The Department of Homeland Security Climate Change Research Act recognizes the importance of mitigating climate change challenges by requiring DHS to assess the current Federal research regarding any potential or identified effects of climate change on homeland security and authorizing the Science and Technology Directorate to research and develop approaches such effects have on homeland security,” Rep. Clarke said in a statement.
Specifically, the bill directs DHS’s S&T Directorate to:
- Assess the current Federal research regarding approaches to mitigate identified or potential negative effects of climate change on homeland security, including preparedness and emergency planning policies for natural disasters;
- Consult with heads of other Federal agencies and departments, state, local, Tribal, territorial governments, and stakeholders when identifying and suggesting policy changes to mitigate the impact of climate change on homeland security; and
- Mandate an annual report to Congress for three years on any research and development activities concerning climate change.
The House Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., alongside Reps. Troy Carter, D-La., and Donald Payne, D-N.J., are cosponsors of the bill.
Last Congress, Rep. Clarke’s bill passed the House Committee on Homeland Security by a vote of 19-14. She also introduced the bill in the 116th Congress, and while it passed the House, it never made it out of the Senate committee.