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GAO Releases Report Card on Climate Adaptation at DoD

USS Nebraska_at_Naval_Base_Kitsap

USS NEBRASKA at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, Washington (WA).

Last week, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, or GAO, issued a report “Climate Change Adaptation: DoD Needs to Better Incorporate Adaptation into Planning and Collaboration at Overseas Installations.” In summary, the report found that, well, the DoD needs to better incorporate adaptation into planning and collaboration at overseas installations. It was a pretty descriptive title…See below for some extracts of note:


While the military services have begun to integrate climate change adaptation into installations’ plans and project designs, this integration has been limited. For example, only about one-third of the plans that GAO reviewed addressed climate change adaptation. Similarly, projects GAO discussed with DOD officials were rarely designed to include climate change adaptation. This is due to the inconsistent inclusion of climate change adaptation in training and design standards for installation planners and engineers. As a result, planners and engineers do not have the information needed to ensure that climate change-related risks are addressed in installation plans and project designs.


We recommend that the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force take the following four actions:

  • Work with the Office of the Secretary of Defense to issue a requirement to their installations to systematically track the costs associated with extreme weather events and climate change. (Recommendation 1)
  • Take steps to administer the Screening Level Vulnerability Assessment Survey, or a similar instrument, to all relevant locations. (Recommendation 2)
  • Implement DOD goals and plans by incorporating climate change adaptation into service-level guidance and required training for the development of installation-level plans, including master plans and natural resource plans, at all locations. (Recommendation 3)
  • Integrate climate change data and projections into the Unified Facilities Criteria standards and periodically revise those standards based on any new projections, as appropriate. (Recommendation 4)

We also recommend that the Secretary of Defense take the following two actions:

  • Direct the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy), the geographic combatant commands, the sub-unified commands, and the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force to consider climate change adaptation as they develop DOD’s position for future negotiations with host-nation governments on cost-sharing activities, when relevant or appropriate. (Recommendation 5)
  • Direct the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force to issue guidance, as appropriate, that calls for more formal coordination mechanisms related to climate change adaptation, such as memorandums of understanding, between DOD installations and surrounding host-nation communities. (Recommendation 6)

1 Comment

  1. Dr. Vlad Fomin says:

    Thank you for the constructive and very useful information that I received from The Center for Climate and Security in the outgoing year 2017. Congratulations on the Nativity of Christ… I wish you health, success and good luck in the coming New Year. With respect and gratitude, Vlad Fomin.

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