House Democrats are focusing on installation resiliency to climate change impacts as a key issue as part of its fiscal 2020 NDAA, according to an American Institute of Physics report.
The Democrat-led Armed Services Committee, building on climate change provisions in the last two approved NDAAs, is pushing to require DOD to factor in climate change and extreme weather impacts into its base master plans, the AIG report says.
Congress first mandated DOD to estimate climate change and extreme weather impacts on large bases through the fiscal 2018 NDAA.
In January, DOD delivered its first report on base vulnerabilities and assessed the impacts of climate change on 79 military installations. It found 53 are vulnerable to recurrent flooding, 43 to drought, 36 to wildfire, and one to permafrost thawing.
After the committee first criticized the report for a lack of detail, the panel mandated that DOD follow up with additional information weighing installation preparedness for climate change and extreme weather impacts.
Last week DOD provided initial lists of the 10 most vulnerable military bases by individual service, but did not include cost estimates of mitigation measures.
The House panel’s fiscal 2020 NDAA now includes provisions requiring DOD to perform a follow-on study that assesses vulnerable installations’ readiness and resiliency in base planning.
The GOP-led Senate version of the NDAA also contains language similar to the House version.
The White House has not publicly commented on the climate change provisions, but according to the AIG report, the National Security Council has continued to resist concerns about climate change.
Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake