A decade ago, the U.S. Navy took the lead on tackling climate change and developing forward-thinking defense & climate policy within our nation’s military. In 2010, they released their first Navy Climate Change Roadmap, which stated:
“Climate change is a national security challenge with strategic implications for the Navy. Climate change will lead to increased tensions in nations with weak economies and political institutions. While climate change alone is not likely to lead to future conflict, it may be a contributing factor. Climate change is affecting, and will continue to affect, U.S. military installations and access to natural resources worldwide.”
The U.S. Department of Defense has continued to vigorously research and prepare for climate change, and in 2014 they released their Department of Defense Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, which states:
“Among the future trends that will impact our national security is climate change. Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict. They will likely lead to food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe.
In our defense strategy, we refer to climate change as a “threat multiplier” because it has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we are dealing with today – from infectious disease to terrorism. We are already beginning to see some of these impacts.”
The White House's website says the new administration "is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule." This declaration is directly at odds with the proactive climate change response that's being pursued by our DoD, and we implore the new administration to base its climate policy on the best evidence from our most expert sources.
The Pro-Climate movement firmly believes that we should heed the warnings of the U.S. Department of Defense, and trust the science-based assessments of climate change made by leaders within the U.S. Navy. At Cross the Aisle for Climate, we strongly support the U.S. military’s efforts to combat and prepare for climate change, and we understand that forward-thinking climate policy is a key component of our national defense.