It might seem a curious stance, given Mr. Hagel's past. He's been skeptical of claims that humans have had that much impact on global warming. As a Republican senator from Nebraska, he cosponsored a 1997 resolution to stop US participation in the Kyoto Protocol, which passed the Senate 95 to 0.
But the new Chuck Hagel is sounding a different theme – that energy, environment, and economic security are inextricably intertwined. For activists worried about climate change and clean-tech companies eager to sell their technology, the prospect of having Hagel head the nation's biggest energy consumer – the Department of Defense – is intriguing.
"I would expect that [Hagel] would respect the analyses that show, from the military's point of view, the threat multiplication from climate change impact," David Doniger, policy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Climate and Clean Air Program, told ClimateWire. "Nothing tells me that he would be in any way hostile to those positions."