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A new directive issued by Pentagon leaders mandates that the agency work to “assess and manage risks associated with the impacts of climate change,” according to a copy of the Jan. 14 directive issued by Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work.
As the Obama administration focuses on a larger effort to push its climate change agenda, the Pentagon will now “address the impacts of climate change.” This includes engaging in “deliberate preparation, close cooperation, and coordinated planning” to “improve climate preparedness and resilience,” according to the directive.
The partnership will include state governments and the private sector.
Pentagon officials expect that the climate change effort will “help safeguard [the] U.S. economy, infrastructure, environment, and natural resources,” according to the directive.
The directive is to be obeyed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, all the military branches, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and most all other entities operating under the Pentagon umbrella.
“The DoD must be able to adapt current and future operations to address the impacts of climate change in order to maintain an effective and efficient U.S. military,” according to the 12-page directive.
“Mission planning and execution” must now include an assessment of the “effects of climate change on the DoD mission.”
The military also is directed to take “those [climate change] effects into consideration when developing plans and implementing procedures.” They also must anticipate and manage “any risks that develop as a result of climate change to build resilience,” according to the order.
Additionally, the under secretary of defense for intelligence and the director of national intelligence are directed to coordinate with one another about "risks, potential impacts, considerations, vulnerabilities, and effects [on operations] of altered operating environments related to climate change and environmental monitoring,” the directive states.
The Pentagon told Congress in a report last year that it “sees climate change as a present security threat, not strictly a long-term risk.”