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January 2015

On 12 November 2014, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a joint announcement on climate change and clean energy cooperation, in which the leaders "reaffirmed the importance of strengthening bilateral cooperation on climate change" and pledged to "work together, and with other countries" to adopt a protocol to combat global climate change, which the announcement described as "one of the greatest threats facing humanity." 

Almost a month prior to release of the joint announcement, the United States Department of Defence (DoD) issued a widely publicised report entitled '2014 Climate Change: Adaption Roadmap', which pointedly concludes that climate change will affect national security. In a foreword written well before his announced resignation, Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel calls climate change a "threat multiplier", arguing that it "has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we are dealing with today – from infectious disease to terrorism". Secretary Hagel adds that the DoD is "already beginning to see some of these impacts", and that "a changing climate will have real impacts on our military and the way it executes its missions."

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