Climate Now

In the Navy! There is a climate action plan

June 26, 2023 Meredith Berger Season 1 Episode 104
Climate Now
In the Navy! There is a climate action plan
Show Notes

In 2003, the U.S. Department of Defense released a report entitled, “An abrupt climate change scenario and its implications for United States national security,” which “imagined the unthinkable” – that gradual global warming could lead to relatively abrupt changes in climate patterns, significantly reducing global food production, and with it “the human carrying capacity of the Earth’s environment.”  Two decades later, the scenario of abrupt climatic shifts resulting from global warming is not so unthinkable, and the U.S. military now formally regards climate change as a threat, according to Meredith Berger, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and the Environment. 

In 2022, three branches of the U.S. military (Army, Navy and Air Force) released climate strategies detailing decarbonization goals for their operations. Ms. Berger is responsible for overseeing implementation and execution of the Department of the Navy’s climate strategy, which includes commitments to 100% carbon pollution free electricity by 2030, a 50% reduction in building emissions by 2032, and optimizing route planning and ship speed to maximize fuel efficiency. Climate Now spoke with Meredith Berger to discuss why climate change is classified as a threat to national security, how a climate strategy aligns with the mission of the navy, and how the navy plans to reach their decarbonization goals.

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