Department of Defense Integrates Climate Change Adaptation into Operations

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Climate change resiliency has infiltrated into the inner-workings of the U.S. Department of Defense. A document released earlier this year outlines how the DOD will directly integrate climate change concerns into everyday activities and infrastructure plans. This action follows President Obama’s executive order to prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change.

As the acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, John Conger is responsible for managing the DOD energy portfolio and military base security.

“That includes over 500 bases and 300,000 buildings and 2.2 billion square feet of space,” he said. “The infrastructure has a plant replacement value on the order of $850 billion. There’s a lot of stuff out there that is all going to be impacted by changes in the climate. As I look at managing the infrastructure, I have to think about risk as well in that context. What is climate change likely to do? What are the major changes that will occur that will affect that $850 billion real property portfolio?”

Conger said the defense department must consider threats from climate change as seriously as any other global threat. This process not only involves adapting for climate change resiliency, but also includes reducing energy consumption and mitigating emissions from their operations. Read the full story here.

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