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Friday, June 24, 2022

‘In the crosshair’: Navy Department releases climate change strategy

The Navy Department this week released its strategy for how it will tackle climate change and move toward the government’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“Climate change is one of the most destabilizing forces of our time, raising other national security concerns and posing serious preparedness challenges,” Navy Secretary Carlos del Toro said in the introduction to the 32-page report. “Our navy and amphibious forces are in the crosshairs of the climate crisis and this strategy provides the framework to empower us to meaningfully reduce the threat of climate change.”

Setting the department on a curriculum to tackle climate change is a key priority in del Toro’s tenure. He called the issue “existential” for the Navy and Marine Corps.

“If we do not act with sea level rise, bases such as Norfolk Naval Base and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Paris Island will be severely tested in their ability to support their missions,” he wrote in the report. ” “If temperatures continue to rise, the oceans will heat up, creating more destructive storms, which will require our fleet and Marine Corps forces to increase their operational speed to respond.”

Go here to read the report.

While the iconic Paris Island and Mid-Atlantic naval bases are threatened by climate change, Pentagon officials have also warned of the effects of a warming planet on the military’s Arctic and sub-Arctic bases.

The military released its climate strategy in February.

Del Toro also cited wildfires and drought in the West, and record-setting heatwaves in the Pacific Northwest, as other indicators requiring action by his department.

Del Toro said global instability related to climate change would lead to water and food insecurity as well as mass migration, and would prompt sailors and marines to launch more humanitarian relief missions.

The Navy Department’s “Climate Action 2030” plan seeks to reduce emissions and installation energy demands by increasing carbon pollution-free power options, while helping prepare the military to operate in potentially volatile future climates.

The Navy Department wants to cut carbon dioxide “or equivalent pollution” by 5 million metric tons each year by 2027, a move by the Navy that would be the equivalent of moving a million cars off the road.

“The [Department of the Navy] Will also deploy cyber-secure microgrids or comparable technology to leverage carbon pollution-free electricity at our bases and installations to support critical missions,” said a release announcing the plan.

The department has already awarded more than $3 billion in contracts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, while “increasing energy and water resilience” at US and foreign bases, according to the report.

World Nation News Desk
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