U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says security is job one for the Department of Defense.
“That requires thinking ahead and planning for a wide range of contingencies,” he says.
Among those contingencies? The weather. The Pentagon has identified climate change as a so-called “threat multiplier” because it has the potential to intensify challenges they already deal with, such as infectious disease and terrorism.
Hagel says climate change could also affect the way the military executes its missions. Think coastal missions, flooding potential, supply chain challenges – any number of issues. In other words, there will always be uncertainty in the world, but chance favors the prepared mind, he says.
“It is in this context that DoD is releasing a Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap,” Hagel says. “Climate change is a long-term trend, but with wise planning and risk mitigation now, we can reduce adverse impacts downrange.”
This road map addresses three main goals.
1. Identify and assess the effects of climate change on the Department.
2. Integrate climate chance considerations across the Department and manage associated risks.
3. Collaborate with internal and external stakeholders on climate change challenges.
“Our armed forces must prepare for a future with a wide spectrum of possible threats, weighing risks and probabilities to ensure that we will continue to keep our country secure,” Hagel says. “By taking a proactive, flexible approach to assessment, analysis and adaptation, the Defense Department will keep pace with a changing climate, minimize its impacts on our missions and continue to protect our national security.”
A full copy of the report is available here.