U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D.MA), and U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar(D-TX) called on the U.S. Department of Defense, to take proactive steps to ensure that defense assets are available in the face of climate changes.
Warren, a member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote to Lloyd J. Austin III and Escobar (a member on the House Armed Services Committee), stating that the department could move forward without Congressional approval.
“We encourage you to take the proactive steps outlined in the Department of Defense Climate Resiliency and Readiness Act to ensure our Armed Forces are resilient and prepared to adjust to the climate challenges we face for years to come,” the lawmakers wrote.
Since 2010, the DoD has said that climate change threatens the nation’s coastal infrastructure and military capabilities, as well as poses risks to DoD operations around the world. In their letter, the Congresswomen called on the DoD to enact proposals from 2019 legislation, the Department of Defense Climate Resiliency and Readiness Act, which addresses the department’s role as the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, as well as direction to consider climate change related risks when making decisions on base realignment or closure.
“It is imperative the Department take steps to increase its resiliency against climate change. These proposals are not required to be enacted by Congress. Without a mandate from Congress, you and the Armed Services already possess the authority to make these decisions in light of the climate crisis. These decisions that we can make today will have a profound impact on our ability to defend the nation and protect our interests abroad for years to come,” the Congresswomen said.