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Army releases climate change plan: ‘Immediate threat to national security’

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks after his recovery from COVID-19 in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, July 27, 2022. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
October 07, 2022

The U.S. Army released its new plan to tackle climate change, which the service claims “poses an immediate and serious threat to U.S. national security and affects how and where the Army trains and operates.”

The new “Army Climate Strategy” (ACS) Implementation Plan states that the Army must do more than just “adapt” to climate change because “dangerous levels of greenhouse gases (GHG) have already accumulated in the Earth’s atmosphere.” The service must instead work to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The strategy highlights three main “lines of effort,” including installations, acquisition and logistics, and training.

The Army will work toward making sure installations have “resilient energy and water supply, carbon free electricity, efficient and sustainable infrastructure, sustainable land management, and more.

The Army also vowed to reduce fuel consumption and rely on advanced technology to help mitigate climate change during deployments. Additionally, the service will “train and educate the Army to operate in a climate-altered world.”

“The ACS envisions the Total Army as ‘a resilient and sustainable land force able to operate in all domains with effective mitigation and adaption measures against the key effects of climate change, consistent with Army modernization efforts,’” the strategy’s implementation plan states.

“The effects of climate change will be a feature of global conditions for the foreseeable future. As such, the Army must continually adjust the ACS-IP to reflect the best science and cutting edge technologies. In FY25, the Army will assess progress, revisit assumptions, update and refresh the way ahead,” it adds.

The Army’s plan comes after John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, said climate change can “force” military invention after once again calling it a “national security issue.”

During a July press conference, Kirby said climate change is a “driver of actual missions” because it creates “instability” and “insecurity.”

“It’s a driver of actual missions, because climate change creates instability, which creates insecurity in some places,” Kirby said at the time. “And you can end up — the fighting in Syria started, really, as a result of a drought. And so, there’s — there’s a — it can actually drive military missions and force the military to become involved in places and at times where they wouldn’t have had to otherwise.”

Kirby added that President Joe Biden believes climate change is a “very important issue for our own national security.”

“And we’re going to — we’re going to treat it that way,” Kirby concluded.