US Army Releases First Ever Climate Strategy Emphasizing Resilience

(Credit: US Army)

by | Feb 9, 2022

(Credit: US Army)

Recognizing the threats climate change pose to the armed forces, the US Army drafted its first ever Climate Strategy, outlining steps to make the organization more resilient and adaptive while simultaneously decarbonizing.

In line with the president Biden’s executive orders on climate, the Army has established three overarching goals:

  • Achieve 50% reduction in Army net greenhouse gas pollution by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.
  • Attain net-zero Army greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
  • Proactively consider the security implications of climate change in strategy, planning, acquisition, supply chain, and programming documents and processes.

To advance these goals, the Army has established three “lines of effort.”

  1. Enhance resilience and sustainability by adapting infrastructure and natural environments to climate change risks, securing access to training and testing lands into the future, and mitigating GHG emissions.
  2. Increase operational capability while reducing sustainment demand and strengthening climate resilience.
  3. Prepare a force that is ready to operate in a climate-altered world.

Secretary of the Army Christine E. Wormuth cites disrupted supply chains, damaged infrastructure, and increased risks to soldiers from natural disasters and extreme weather as three climate change–related issues requiring strategic planning. Specific initiatives include:

  • Vehicle fuel efficiency and electrification.
  • EV charging infrastructure.
  • Battery storage.
  • Microgrids.
  • Carbon-free power generation.
  • Control systems to intelligently manage HVAC and lighting.
  • Land management to preserve trees and other carbon sinks.
  • Predictive logistics to inform strategic planning.
  • Water conservation.
  • Sustainable sourcing of construction materials.
  • Supply chain optimization.
  • Climate-focused workplace education and development.

The Army emphasized that its core purpose remains unchanged: “to deploy, fight, and win the nation’s wars by providing ready, prompt, and sustained land dominance.” To this end, it is emphasizing tactical self-sufficiency to avoid climate-related disruptions and maintain superiority over its military competitors.

The US military is a bigger polluter than 140 of the world’s nations, making mitigation of its greenhouse gas emissions a priority in combating climate change. Recognizing this, the Department of Defense has taken some steps to green its operations. In May 2020, it announced a scalable design platform for microgrids. In December 2020, it began developing a new energy management program for more efficient power consumption. And in November of this year, it announced a partnership to develop hybrid conversion kits for tactical vehicles to reduce idling emissions.

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