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Climate Change Lessons From the US Military: What Japanese Industry Can Learn From Another Global Enterprise

Climate Change Lessons From the US Military_For Japanese Industry_Cover_2019_5Climate Change Lessons From the US Military: What Japanese Industry Can Learn From Another Global Enterprise

In this second report in the Center for Climate and Security’s Japan Series, the authors argue that the kind of planning the US military has done to assess and address climate change risks could inform Japanese industry, boosting their existing climate risk management approaches, and preserving their competitive advantage in the medium-term. The report explores similarities in the US military’s exposure to the security risks of climate change, and that of major Japanese companies that operate internationally, and come ahead of major G20 ministerial meetings in Japan on Trade and Digital Economy (June 8-9) and Energy Transitions for Global Environment for Sustainable Growth (June 15-16).

Three key recommendations to Japanese industry from the report include:

  1. Acknowledge the risks. Climate impacts are real, predictable and will materially affect business operations and supply chains. Recognize that while impacts are physical they can also damage social infrastructure and political stability. All such risks should be identified and assessed so they can be properly managed.
  2. Plan and resource to manage climate risk. Any significant investment in infrastructure should include a thorough climate vulnerability assessment. Risks specific to construction, transportation, outdoor work and other operations should be identified and addressed.
  3. Energy efficiency and renewable energy can save costs, contribute to risk reduction and yield reputational dividends. Companies that invest in products and technologies that enable climate mitigation or adaptation can benefit from a financial upside from the market and environmental stability that will grow from inevitable climate risk

Click here for the full report.

Click here for a Japan Series Fact Sheet covering both reports.

Quotes from the authors:

“The US military understands that climate change poses real and substantial threats to our installations and security interests, and is doing something about it. Japanese industry could benefit from a similar hard-nosed approach to ensure it isn’t caught off-guard, that it understands the full scope of climate-related threats, and that investment decisions, including energy investment decisions, are taken with this future picture in mind.” – Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, US Navy (Retired), Advisory Board, the Center for Climate and Security, Former Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment

“It is clear that climate change poses security threats in the Pacific region, particularly in southeast Asian countries that are very important to Japanese industries and their supply chains.  This makes it an issue of economic self-interest for Japan to tackle climate change challenges today, and an opportunity to pursue policies that position its economy better for the future.” – The Honorable John Conger, Director, The Center for Climate and Security, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment