Biden Orders Pentagon To Include Climate Change In New Strategy & War Games
The Pentagon will include climate change-related issues in its National Defense Strategy and war gaming, a major change driven by President Biden signing of an executive order today instructing the government to begin tackling climate change on a wider scale.
Biden’s order directs the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to include climate risk assessments in developing a new National Defense Strategy, due in 2022, along with the Defense Planning Guidance, the Chairman’s Risk Assessment, “and other relevant strategy, planning, and programming documents and processes.”
The order gives the Pentagon and other federal agencies 120 days to produce “an analysis of the security implications of climate change (Climate Risk Analysis) that can be incorporated into modeling, simulation, war-gaming, and other analyses.”
In 2019 alone, the military identified climate-related impacts at 79 installations.
While the armed services has for years accepted that changes in climate will drive instability and have adverse effects on port infrastructure and bases at home and abroad, the 2018 National Defense Strategy did not name climate change as a national security priority. The order marks a sharp departure from Trump administration policies that pushed to expand oil and gas exploration and ignored climate change’s effects.
“The Department will immediately take appropriate policy actions to prioritize climate change considerations in our activities and risk assessments, to mitigate this driver of insecurity,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.
Beginning in January 2022, the Pentagon will also provide the White House an annual update on progress made in incorporating the security implications of climate change into those documents.