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And Air Force Makes Three… Comparing the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force Climate Plans

By John Conger

With the release of the U.S. Department of the Air Force Climate Action Plan on October 5, 2022, we now have climate plans developed by each of the military departments. The Army published its Army Climate Strategy in February 2022 and the Navy released Climate Action 2030 in May 2022. Below, I’ll highlight some of the key similarities and differences between the three approaches, which will help us develop a more complete forecast for where and how the Department of Defense (DoD) will address the security challenge posed by climate change.

Just as the three military departments have their own distinct cultures and personalities, these three plans are quite different, even as they all move toward a common set of goals.

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Climate Security Implications of the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act

By Erin Sikorsky

Late last week, the U.S. Congress passed landmark climate legislation in the form of the Inflation Reduction Act. This legislation will speed up deployment of clean energy and lower US carbon emissions by about 40 percent from 2005 levels, closing two-thirds of the remaining gap between current policies and the US climate target of a 50 percent reduction in emissions by 2030. The legislation has multiple implications for U.S. climate security going forward—including helping prevent the worst security outcomes of unchecked emissions, bolstering U.S. credibility as it pushes other countries to reduce emissions, improving U.S. energy reliability and resilience, and complementing Department of Defense efforts to curb its own emissions in hard to decarbonize sectors. 

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Building Climate-Secure Communities: The USAID Climate Strategy and FY 2023 Budget Request

By Elsa Barron 

On Earth Day 2022, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) released a new Climate Strategy for application between 2022 and 2030. The whole-of-agency approach created by this strategy is one that USAID calls “unprecedented” and necessary to realize a “vision of a resilient, prosperous, and equitable world with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.” 

USAID can apply its strengths–which it defines as its global presence, longevity of work, breadth of expertise, and convening power–to build climate resilience and prevent climate-induced insecurity. USAID’s investments in achieving its Climate Strategy are not a tradeoff with its existing development work. Rather, the strategy provides opportunities to deepen existing agency programs and equip its community partners to face some of the largest challenges to development, peace, and security in the decades ahead.  

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New U.S. Navy Climate Strategy Sets High-Level Goals

By Erin Sikorsky 

On May 24, the U.S. Navy released Climate Action 2030, its response to the Presidential directive to integrate climate considerations into all aspects of the Department of Defense. The Navy is the second of the armed services to release such a strategy – the Army released its version in February, and the Air Force continues to work on its plan.  

Like the Army’s report, the Navy strategy repeatedly notes that far from distracting from the Navy’s core mission – warfighting – preparing for climate change will ensure the Navy is resilient and ready in the face of a changing landscape. As the report says, “The Department does not have to choose between warfighting and preparing for climate change; the two go hand-in-hand.” 

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