In Questions for the Record (QFRs) submitted by the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee to the Administration’s nominees for Assistant Secretary Of The Navy For Installations, Energy, And The Environment (Mrs. Phyllis L. Bayer) and Assistant Secretary Of The Air Force For Installations, Environment, And Energy (Mr. John Henderson), they were each asked a question on how they would address climate change-related risks to the Department of Defense. Both followed the lead of Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who has made some of the strongest statements of any Secretary of Defense on the need to address the security implications of climate change in his own responses to the QFRs. Below are Bayer’s and Henderson’s answers:
131. Mrs. Bayer and Mr. Henderson, Secretary James Mattis has said that “the effects of a changing climate — such as increased maritime access to the Arctic, rising sea levels, desertification, among others — impact our security situation. I will ensure that the Department continues to be prepared to conduct operations today and in the future, and that we are prepared to address the effects of a changing climate on our threat assessments, resources, and readiness.” Do you agree with his assessment, and how, specifically, will you commit to ensuring that your Service is prepared to address the effects of a change climate?
A. Mrs. Bayer?
A: Yes, if confirmed, I will ensure the Department identifies those bases most at-risk and develops the measures necessary to mitigate those risks.
B. Mr. Henderson?
A: Yes, I agree with Secretary Mattis’ assessment that a changing climate can impact our installations. If confirmed, I will ensure that the Air Force continues to be prepared to conduct operations today and in the future, and that we are prepared to address the effects of a changing climate on our threat assessments, resources, and readiness.
To watch the confirmation hearings of Mrs. Bayer and Mr. Henderson, click here.