Department of the Navy: Climate Action 2030
Secretary of the Navy, Carlos Del Toro recently described climate change as “[O]ne of the most destabilizing forces of our time, exacerbating other national security concerns and posing serious readiness challenges. Our naval forces, the United States Navy and Marine Corps are in the crosshairs of the climate crisis: the threat increases instability and demands on our forces while simultaneously impacting our capacity to respond to those demands.” To respond to the climate crisis, the Department of the Navy (DoN) recently released its plan for Climate Action 2030.
To combat the impacts of climate change, the Navy needs to build a climate-ready force. To do this, they have two performance goals:
1. Build Climate Resilience
2. Reduce Climate Threat
Around these goals, the DoN developed five Lines of Effort (LOE) that are consistent with the Department of the Defense’s (DoD) Climate Adaption Plan:
1. Climate-Informed Decision Making
This includes considering climate change impacts, risks, and opportunities for adaptation, mitigation, and resilience benefits. Climate investments were included in the annual budget for the first time in 2021.
2. Training and Equipping for Climate Resilience
This includes ensuring that the total force is trained and equipped to operate effectively and efficiently in evolving and intensifying climate conditions. It also includes electrification of Tactical Ground Vehicles by reducing fuel consumption, increasing operational research, and enhancing on-board capabilities and integrating and improving propulsion for Navy Ships through hybrid and advanced propulsion options.
3. Resilient Build and Natural Infrastructure
This includes ensuring built and natural infrastructure will be resilient to project climate impacts and continue to support mission requirements, military readiness, and operational success. Naval Weapons Station Earle, New Jersey is a prime example of natural infrastructure resilience by replenishing the local beaches, installing artificial oyster reefs and salt marsh restoration to protect the base from future storm surges. Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia is the Navy’s first installation to generate more energy than it consumes by harnessing landfill gas, steam from a private industrial facility, solar, and geothermal energy sources to power portions of the base.
4. Supply Chain Resilience and Innovation
This includes using low-carbon technologies and fuel, lithium-ion batteries, and investments in innovation to reduce demand and ensure sufficient access to key materials and supplies.
5. Enhanced Mitigation and Adaptation Through Collaboration
This includes collaboration with external partners to combine climate change mitigation efforts, such as the Mekong Delta Climate Research Collaboration, California Organic Recycling and Composting, and Worldwide Climate Health Partnerships.
Climate change is already impacting our Navy and our country. These efforts will align with efforts that strengthen maritime dominance, empower our military staff, and strengthen strategic partnerships for years to come.
Image Source: Department of the Navy
1. Department of the Navy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and Environment. May 2022. Department of the Navy Climate Action 2030. Washington, DC