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Event: U.S. Climate Security Investments: Changing Plans into Actions

By Brigitte Hugh

Join the Center for Climate and Security (CCS) on June 14, 2022 at 2 p.m. EST for a panel discussion featuring senior U.S. government officials to discuss the climate funding included in the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Budget Request (register here).

Participants include:

  • Joe Bryan, Senior Advisor for Climate, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Department of Defense
  • Teresa Pohlman, Executive Director of Environmental and Sustainability Programs, Department of Homeland Security 
  • Gillian Caldwell, Chief Climate Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Jesse Young, Senior Advisor, Office of the Senior Presidential Envoy for Climate, U.S. State Department

Earlier this year, the Climate and Security Advisory Group published the report, Challenge Accepted, which lauded the fact that the Administration had declared climate change to be an essential element of national security and foreign policy, but called upon the U.S. government to move from words to deeds.

A key ingredient in accomplishing the aims of established U.S. climate security strategy is the financial resources necessary to fuel the transformation from plans to action. The President’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request, submitted to Congress in March, proposes an unprecedented amount of funding dedicated to addressing climate security issues. Which provokes questions like: Is it enough? Is it in the right places? And what forward progress will it actually enable? 

Register to attend here.

Unpacking the Pentagon’s $3.1 Billion Climate Request

Rough seas pound the hull of Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Arctic as she sails alongside Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua A. Moore

By John Conger

On March 28, the U.S. Federal Budget request for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY2023) was released, officially kicking off the Congressional budget season and the ensuing posture testimonies, staffer briefs, and associated deep dives into the details of the budget.  With that first release, however, the Department of Defense (DoD) had not yet made available the budget details – instead providing just an information appetizer in the form of an overview slide deck.  The slides indicated that the DoD characterized $3.1 billion of its budget request as “climate investment” in four categories: Installation Resiliency and Adaptation ($2 billion); Science and Technology ($807 million); Operational Energy and Buying Power ($247 million); and Contingency Preparedness ($28 million).  These categories roughly line up with similar categories from FY2022 but represent significant increases in each.   The FY2022 budget identified $617 million in similar categories.  That said, while the categories remain the same, the contents are slightly different and it is hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison between the two.

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New Pentagon Inspector General Report on Climate Resilience in the Arctic: Key Takeaways

By Erin Sikorsky

Last week, the Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General (IG) released a new report evaluating the climate resilience of US military bases in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic that provides a revealing glimpse of some of the challenges and opportunities facing the DoD as it works to implement climate security measures across its enterprise.

First, the report underscores the number one takeaway that the Climate Security Advisory Group identified in Challenge Accepted, our scorecard of the Biden Administration’s climate security policy: the need to move from words to action. The IG report shows the yawning gap between what policymakers mandate in Washington, what tools the Pentagon creates, and what actually happens (or doesn’t happen) out in the field. The report found little to no action at the bases on climate resilience, noting that, “military installation leaders focused on existing weather and energy challenges rather than analyzing their installations’ infrastructure, assets, and mission exposure and vulnerability to climate change; the DoD and Service Components did not provide guidance for implementing military installation resilience assessments; and installation leaders lacked resources to analyze and assess climate change.”

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The Pentagon’s Global Supply Chain Threatened by Climate Change

By Dr. Marc Kodack

Supply chains are the less visible parts of many large, global companies, such as Apple, Toyota, and Boeing. For each of these companies, their many suppliers incrementally provide parts that are eventually assembled into finished products, whether they are hand-held smartphones or part of vehicles that transport a few or many people. Disruptions to suppliers can have devasting effects on the ability of a company to complete finished products. The most recent example of this are the shortages in personal protective equipment, e.g., masks, surgical gowns, and face shields, for health-care workers involved in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the Department of Defense (DoD), disruptions to its global supply chain, particularly those suppliers involved in mission-critical products and services, will degrade DoD’s ability to respond when it is called upon. When these disruptions are caused or influenced by climate change, supply chain management under climate change becomes a strategic vulnerability. The probability of a disruption to one or more critical suppliers is never-ending, given their number and dispersed locations around the globe.

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