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The President has made clear that tackling the climate crisis is a core mission of the Department of Defense (DoD) on par with the Pentagon’s highest obligations to the American people. Countering this existential threat to the Nation and humanity is unlike any mission our military has faced before. This report shows, in concrete terms, how DoD can deploy its formidable assets to meet this moment which calls for leadership, boldness, and creativity.

DoD is already dealing with the mounting and accelerating impacts of climate change. As Secretary Austin explained, DoD has acknowledged since 2010 that climate change is having a “dramatic effect on missions, plans, and installations.” And President Biden’s Executive Order is unequivocal: “climate considerations shall be an essential element of United States foreign policy and national security.”

DoD has an essential responsibility to safeguard American security by preparing for the impacts of our changing climate, and by addressing the causes of climate change head on. To that end, this report seeks to provide a wide range of implementable solutions for the entire Department and its interagency partners. Ultimately, for DoD to succeed in all its critical missions, the Nation must lead a global effort to head off the existential consequences of climate change.

Lead Authors

Steve Brock, CAPT, U.S. Navy (Ret.), SymbioScape, former Director, National Security Council Deborah Loomis, CDR, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

* Professional affiliations do not imply organizational or governmental endorsement of these recommendations