Obama: We Have Conversations About Climate Change in the Situation Room

By CNSNews.com Staff | September 15, 2016 | 4:38 PM EDT

President Barack Obama speaking at the 2016 Our Ocean Conference at the State Department. (Screen Capture)

(CNSNews.com) - Speaking today at the State Department at the “2016 Our Ocean Conference,” President Barack Obama said that a “healthier planet” is vital to U.S. “national security” and that he has conversations about climate change “in the Situation Room.”

“But one thing that we all owe to [Secretary of State] John [Kerry] is his conviction that a healthier ocean and a healthier planet are about more than just our environment; they are also vital to our foreign policy and to our national security,” said Obama. “So he has elevated the profile of climate change, ocean protection to the point where we have conversations about this not just in the Oval Office, but in the Situation Room.”

Obama also said that “[d]angerous changes in our climate, caused mainly by human activity…are happening now.”

Here are some excerpts from Obama's speech as transcribed by the White House:

“I am obviously grateful to John Kerry for a whole host of reasons.  But one thing that we all owe to John is his conviction that a healthier ocean and a healthier planet are about more than just our environment; they are also vital to our foreign policy and to our national security.  So he has elevated the profile of climate change, ocean protection to the point where we have conversations about this not just in the Oval Office, but in the Situation Room.  And that is critical in helping us mobilize all of government around the issues that all of you care so deeply about.  …

“Dangerous changes in our climate, caused mainly by human activity; dead zones in our ocean, caused mainly by pollution that we create here on land; unsustainable fishing practices; unprotected marine areas, in which rare species and entire ecosystems are at risk -- all those things are happening now.  They’ve been happening for a long time.  So if we’re going to leave our children with oceans like the ones that were left to us then we're going to have to act.  And we're going to have to act boldly….

“One of the reasons I ran for President was to make sure that America does our part to protect our planet for future generations.  And I am very proud that America has become a global leader in the fight against climate change -- from tripling the electricity we get from wind, multiplying solar electric power more than thirtyfold, to the Clean Power Plan that will limit the pollution we spew into our skies, to our role in rallying nearly 200 nations around the Paris agreement and our work that continues to bring it into force this year.”