During the presidency of Bill Clinton, environmental issues assumed a prominent place in US foreign policy. The US government came to view many environmental changes as potential threats to America’s national and economic security. This recognition was in part an outgrowth of reports by scholars and scientists warning of the security implications of global environmental pollution and natural resource scarcities. By taking environmental security seriously, the argument went, the United States would beneŽ t on several fronts: it might be spared many of the indirect adverse economic consequences of environmental changes (such as lost markets in the developing world); it might be less likely to have to contend with the potential violent con� ict that could arise from environmental scarcities, or at least be made worse by them, in developing regions; and Americans might avoid potential threats to their health and well-being caused directly and indirectly by environ- mental pollution originating abroad. To be sure, trade and traditional security concerns have always been at the forefront of thinking among US foreign policymakers, and this remained true under Clinton. But environmental security was also a component of Clinton’s foreign policy.
|Journal||Pacifica Review: Peace, Security & Global Change|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jun 2002|