[House Report 116-375]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


116th Congress   }                                             {   Report
                         HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session      }                                             {  116-375

======================================================================



 
      DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH ACT

                                _______
                                

January 10, 2020.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, from the Committee on Homeland Security, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4737]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 4737) to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 
to require the Under Secretary for Science and Technology of 
the Department of Homeland Security to research and evaluate 
existing Federal research regarding approaches to mitigate 
climate change on homeland security to identify areas for 
further research within the Department, research and develop 
approaches to mitigate the consequences of climate change on 
homeland security, and for other purposes, having considered 
the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and 
recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     3
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     3
Hearings.........................................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     5
Committee Votes..................................................     5
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     5
C.B.O. Estimate, New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and 
  Tax Expenditures...............................................     5
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     7
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     7
Duplicative Federal Programs.....................................     7
Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
  Benefits.......................................................
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     7
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     8

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Department of Homeland Security 
Climate Change Research Act''.

SEC. 2. CLIMATE CHANGE PLANNING, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, AND 
                    PROTECTION AND PREPAREDNESS.

  (a) In General.--Title III of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 is 
amended by adding at the end the following new section:

``SEC. 321. CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.

  ``(a) In General.--The Under Secretary for Science and Technology--
          ``(1) shall evaluate existing Federal research regarding 
        approaches to mitigate the consequence of climate change on 
        homeland security to identify areas for additional research and 
        development pursuant to paragraph (2) with respect to--
                  ``(A) any connection between climate change and 
                homeland security, including how the resulting 
                competition for resources, economic distress, and 
                social discontent has contributed to, among other 
                outcomes, acts of terrorism;
                  ``(B) the degree to which climate change is reflected 
                in terrorism preparedness and emergency planning and 
                policies, including with respect to preparedness, 
                response to, and recovery from natural disasters; and
                  ``(C) the degree to which the Federal funding 
                structure to respond to major disaster declarations and 
                emergency declarations is adequately structured to meet 
                the demands of responding to and recovering from acts 
                of terrorism and natural disasters that are aggravated 
                by climate change; and
          ``(2) shall, to the extent practicable, conduct research and 
        development on approaches to mitigate the consequences of 
        climate change on homeland security in response to finding 
        pursuant to paragraph (1).
  ``(b) Scope.--The scope of the research and development under 
subsection (a)(2) shall include the following:
          ``(1) Any connection between climate change and homeland 
        security, including how the resulting competition for 
        resources, economic distress, and social discontent can 
        contribute to, among other outcomes, acts of terrorism.
          ``(2) The degree to which climate change is reflected in 
        terrorism preparedness and emergency planning and policies, 
        including with respect to preparedness, response to, and 
        recovery from natural disasters.
          ``(3) The degree to which the Federal funding structure to 
        respond to major disaster declarations and emergency 
        declarations is adequately structured to meet the demands of 
        responding to and recovering from acts of terrorism and natural 
        disasters that are aggravated by climate change.
  ``(c) Consultation.--In carrying out this section, the Under 
Secretary for Science and Technology shall consult with the heads of 
other relevant agencies and departments of the Federal Government, 
first responders, and relevant owners and operators of critical 
infrastructure.
  ``(d) Climate Change Defined.--The term `climate change' refers to 
detectable changes in one or more climate system components that is 
directly or indirectly attributed to--
          ``(1) human activity; and
          ``(2) altering the composition of the global atmosphere.''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents in section 1(b) of the 
Homeland Security Act of 2002 is amended by inserting after the item 
relating to section 320 the following new item:

``Sec. 321. Climate change research and development.''.

SEC. 3. REPORT TO CONGRESS.

      Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this 
Act and annually thereafter for three years, the Under Secretary for 
Science and Technology of the Department of Homeland Security shall 
submit to the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs of the Senate a report on any research and development 
activities carried out pursuant to section 321 of the Homeland Security 
Act of 2002, as added by this Act.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 4737, the ``Department of Homeland Security Climate 
Change Research Act,'' would direct the Department of Homeland 
Security (the Department or DHS)'s Science and Technology 
Directorate to assess current Federal research regarding the 
connection between climate change and homeland security to 
identify research gaps and, to the extent practical, conduct 
additional research to fill identified gaps. In addition to 
focusing on how climate change can result in competition for 
resources, economic distress, and social discontent, the 
research shall consider the degree to which climate change is 
reflected in terrorism preparedness, and how Federal spending 
is affected for disasters that are aggravated by climate 
change. Under this measure, DHS would also be required, to the 
extent practical, to develop approaches to mitigate the 
consequences of climate change on homeland security. For three 
years after enactment of H.R. 4737, DHS would be required to 
submit annual reports to Congress on the Department's 
activities in furtherance of the implementation of this 
measure.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Since the 19th Century, the Earth has warmed roughly 1.8 
degrees Fahrenheit and is predicted to warm to 2.7 degrees by 
2030.\1\ In 2018, the U.S. Global Change Research Program, a 
Federal program responsible for coordinating Federal climate 
research, found that it is extremely likely that ``. . . human 
activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the 
dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th 
century. For the warming over the last century, there is no 
convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of 
the observational evidence.''\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\``This is why fighting climate change is so urgent.'' The 
Environmental Defense Fund. Accessed September 9, 2019. https://
www.edf.org/climate/why-fighting-climate-change-so-urgent.
    \2\ USGCRP, 2017: Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National 
Climate Assessment, Volume I [Wuebbles, D.J., D.W. Fahey, K.A. Hibbard, 
D.J. Dokken, B.C. Stewart, and T.K. Maycock (eds.)]. U.S. Global Change 
Research Program, Washington, DC, USA. https://
science2017.globalchange.gov/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Climate change has national security implications. In 2015, 
the Department of Defense released a report entitled the 
``National Security Implications of Climate-Related Risks and a 
Changing Climate.''\3\ In it, the Defense Department states:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\``National Security Implications of Climate-Related Risks and 
Changing Climate.'' The Department of Defense. July 23, 2015. Accessed 
August 26, 2019. https://archive.defense.gov/pubs/150724-congressional-
report-on-national-implications-of-climate-change.pdf.

          A changing climate increases the risk of instability 
        and conflict overseas . . . The Department of Defense 
        sees climate change as a present security threat, not 
        strictly a long-term risk. We are already observing the 
        impacts of climate change in shocks and stressors to 
        vulnerable nations and communities, including in the 
        United States, and in the Arctic, Middle East, Africa, 
        and South America. Case studies indicate that in 
        addition to exacerbating existing risks from other 
        factors (e.g. social, economic, and political fault 
        lines), climate induced stress can generate new 
        vulnerabilities (e.g.) water scarcity and thus 
        contribute to instability and conflict even in a 
        situation not previously considered at risk.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Ibid.

    Further, the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, as 
signed by President Trump, stated that ``[a]s global 
temperatures rise, droughts and famines can lead to more failed 
states, which are breeding grounds of extremist and terrorist 
organizations.''\5\ A University of California-Berkley study 
concluded that ``[d]roughts and famines, floods, wildfires, and 
other events caused at least in part by climate change lead to 
instability that extremist groups can take advantage of to 
create conflict.''\6\ Parts of the world are already starting 
to see this dynamic play out.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. Public 
Law 115-91. 1283 Stat. 131. December 12, 2017.
    \6\Benson, Thor. ``The Cities at Risk of Climate-Driven Conflict.'' 
CityLab. March 21, 2018. Accessed August 26, 2019. https://
www.citylab.com/environment/2018/03/the-cities-at-risk-of-climate-
driven-conflict/555410/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In Iraq, ISIS targeted for recruitment farmers whose crops 
were lost to drought and other weather events.\7\ In 2018, U.S. 
officials ``expressed concern about ISIS and al Qaeda 
affiliates in the Sahel region [of Africa]'' engaged in 
recruitment, which some experts believe stem from increased 
water instability in the region caused by climate change.\8\ A 
year earlier, National Geographic published a report on how 
terrorist recruiters operated successfully in the region. It 
explained how, in 2009, a terrorist recruiter targeted ``the 
most shabbily dressed farmers'' with promises of ``easy 
riches'' and help feeding their families in return for joining 
the terrorist organization and then, in subsequent years, 
``[w]ith every flood or bout of extreme heat or cold, the 
jihadists would reappear'' and the farmers, ``in no state to 
navigate the extra challenges of climate change,'' were 
recruited.\9\ That is how ``the most environmentally damaged 
Sunni Arab villages quickly emerged as some of the deep-
pocketed jihadists' foremost recruiting grounds.''\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Gerretsen, Isabelle. ``How climate change is fueling 
extremism.'' CNN. March 10, 2019. Accessed September 9, 2019. https://
www.cnn.com/2019/03/06/world/climate-change-terrorism-extremism-africa-
middle-east-intl/index.html.
    \8\Ibid.
    \9\Schwartzstein, Peter. ``Climate Change and Water Woes Drove Isis 
Recruiting in Iraq.'' National Geographic. November 14, 2017. Accessed 
September 9, 2019. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/11/
climate-change-drought-drove-isis-terrorist-recruiting-iraq/.
    \10\Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    While the Department of Defense has analyzed this through 
the lens of defense, there is a need for climate change to be 
analyzed through the homeland security lens, as it has 
implications for terrorism preparedness and emergency planning.

                                Hearings

    For the purposes of section 103(i) of H. Res 6. of the 
116th Congress, the following hearing was used to develop H.R. 
4737:
           On April 9, 2019, the Committee held a 
        hearing entitled ``Assessing the Homeland Security 
        Impacts of a Changing Climate.'' The Committee received 
        testimony from Dr. Astrid Caldas, Senior Climate 
        Scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists; Mr. Timothy 
        Manning, Senior Advisor to the Pacific Disaster Center 
        and the President and CEO of Berglind-Manning l.c.; Ms. 
        Kristie Trousdale, Deputy Director, Children's 
        Environmental Health Network; and Chief Dan Eggleston, 
        President and Chairman of the Board, International 
        Association of Fire Chiefs.

                        Committee Consideration

    The Committee met on October 23, 2019, with a quorum being 
present, to consider H.R. 4737 and ordered the measure to be 
reported to the House with a favorable recommendation, with an 
amendment, by unanimous consent.
    The following amendment was offered and agreed to by 
unanimous consent:
    An amendment offered by Mr. Rogers.
    Page 2, line 13, strike ``shall''.
    Page 2, line 14, strike ``research and'' and insert 
``shall''.
    Page 3, line 11, insert ``, to the extent practicable,'' 
after ``shall''.
    Page 4, strike the proposed subsection (e).
    Add at the end the following:

  SEC. 3. REPORT TO CONGRESS.

      Not later than one year after the date of the enactment 
of this Act and annually thereafter for three years, the Under 
Secretary for Science and Technology of the Department of 
Homeland Security shall submit to the Committee on Homeland 
Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate a 
report on any research and development activities carried out 
pursuant to section 321 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, 
as added by this Act.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded 
votes on the motion to report legislation and amendments 
thereto.
    No recorded votes were requested during consideration of 
H.R. 4737.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

Congressional Budget Office Estimate New Budget Authority, Entitlement 
                    Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee adopts as its 
own the estimate of the estimate of new budget authority, 
entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or revenues 
contained in the cost estimate prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                 Washington, DC, December 11, 2019.
Hon. Bennie G. Thompson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for Department of Homeland 
Security Legislation.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Kim Cawley.
            Sincerely,
                                         Phillip L. Swagel,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

    
    

    On October 23, 2019, the House Committee on Homeland 
Security ordered reported the following bills:
          H.R. 2932, the Homeland Security for Children 
        Act, which would direct the Department of Homeland 
        Security (DHS) to consider the needs of children during 
        its strategic planning activities (such as preparation 
        for natural disasters);
          H.R. 3787, the DHS Countering Unmanned 
        Aircraft Systems Coordinator Act, which would direct 
        DHS to designate one of its officials to coordinate the 
        department's efforts to combat threats from unmanned 
        aircraft systems (or drones);
          H.R. 4737, the Department of Homeland 
        Security Climate Change Research Act, which would 
        direct DHS to assess and potentially expand upon 
        existing federal research projects that examine ways to 
        mitigate the effects of climate change on homeland 
        security programs; and
    DHS is currently carrying out activities similar to those 
required by the bills listed above, and any new activities 
required under the legislation would not require substantial 
action by the department. Thus, CBO estimates that implementing 
each bill would not have a significant cost; any spending would 
be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Kim Cawley. The 
estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

                      Duplicative Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c) of rule XIII, the Committee finds 
that H.R. 4737 does not contain any provision that establishes 
or reauthorizes a program known to be duplicative of another 
Federal program.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the objective of H.R. 4737 is to 
require the Department of Homeland Security to assess the 
current Federal research regarding the connection between 
climate change and homeland security to identify research gaps 
and, to the extent practical, conduct additional research to 
fill those gaps. The goal of H.R. 4737 is to ensure the Federal 
Government has a full picture of how climate change may be 
affecting homeland security and researches approaches to 
mitigate any such effects.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In compliance with rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, this bill, as reported, contains no 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of the rule 
XXI.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides that this bill may be cited as the 
``Department of Homeland Security Climate Change Research 
Act.''

Sec. 2. Climate change planning, research and development, and 
        protection and preparedness.

    This section directs DHS's Science and Technology 
Directorate to evaluate the current Federal research regarding 
the connection between climate change and homeland security to 
identify research gaps and, to the extent practical, conduct 
additional research to fill those gaps. The research is to 
focus on how climate change can result in competition for 
resources, economic distress, and social discontent, the degree 
to which climate change is reflected in terrorism preparedness, 
and how Federal spending is affected for disasters that are 
aggravated by climate change. DHS is also required, to the 
extent practical, to develop approaches to mitigate the 
consequences of climate change on homeland security.

Sec. 3. Report to Congress

    This section requires DHS, for three years after enactment, 
to submit an annual report on research and development related 
to this Act.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                     HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Homeland 
Security Act of 2002''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is 
as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
     * * * * * * *

    TITLE III--SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN SUPPORT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

     * * * * * * *
Sec. 321. Climate change research and development.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE III--SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN SUPPORT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 321. CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.

  (a) In General.--The Under Secretary for Science and 
Technology--
          (1) shall evaluate existing Federal research 
        regarding approaches to mitigate the consequence of 
        climate change on homeland security to identify areas 
        for additional research and development pursuant to 
        paragraph (2) with respect to--
                  (A) any connection between climate change and 
                homeland security, including how the resulting 
                competition for resources, economic distress, 
                and social discontent has contributed to, among 
                other outcomes, acts of terrorism;
                  (B) the degree to which climate change is 
                reflected in terrorism preparedness and 
                emergency planning and policies, including with 
                respect to preparedness, response to, and 
                recovery from natural disasters; and
                  (C) the degree to which the Federal funding 
                structure to respond to major disaster 
                declarations and emergency declarations is 
                adequately structured to meet the demands of 
                responding to and recovering from acts of 
                terrorism and natural disasters that are 
                aggravated by climate change; and
          (2) shall, to the extent practicable, conduct 
        research and development on approaches to mitigate the 
        consequences of climate change on homeland security in 
        response to finding pursuant to paragraph (1).
  (b) Scope.--The scope of the research and development under 
subsection (a)(2) shall include the following:
          (1) Any connection between climate change and 
        homeland security, including how the resulting 
        competition for resources, economic distress, and 
        social discontent can contribute to, among other 
        outcomes, acts of terrorism.
          (2) The degree to which climate change is reflected 
        in terrorism preparedness and emergency planning and 
        policies, including with respect to preparedness, 
        response to, and recovery from natural disasters.
          (3) The degree to which the Federal funding structure 
        to respond to major disaster declarations and emergency 
        declarations is adequately structured to meet the 
        demands of responding to and recovering from acts of 
        terrorism and natural disasters that are aggravated by 
        climate change.
  (c) Consultation.--In carrying out this section, the Under 
Secretary for Science and Technology shall consult with the 
heads of other relevant agencies and departments of the Federal 
Government, first responders, and relevant owners and operators 
of critical infrastructure.
  (d) Climate Change Defined.--The term ``climate change'' 
refers to detectable changes in one or more climate system 
components that is directly or indirectly attributed to--
          (1) human activity; and
          (2) altering the composition of the global 
        atmosphere.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *