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Escobar, Warren Reintroduce Legislation to Require DoD to Achieve Net Zero Energy and Adapt to Climate Change

Bicameral Bill Would Strengthen Military Readiness by Making DoD Infrastructure and Operations More Energy Efficient and Resilient to Climate Change. DoD Would Be Required to Achieve Net Zero Emissions from Non-Combat Bases and Infrastructure by 2031

Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, member of the House Armed Services Committee and House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, and United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), announced the reintroduction of the Department of Defense Climate Resiliency and Readiness Act.

This bicameral legislation would require the Department of Defense (DoD) to adapt its infrastructure and operations to address climate change and improve energy efficiency in order to strengthen military readiness, including a requirement for the United States and overseas installations not supporting combat operations to achieve net zero energy use by 2031.

The Department of Defense has recognized the threat of climate change for years. For example, the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Report summarized that climate change will pose threats to the nation's coastal infrastructure and require adjustments to DoD facilities and operations, and a report issued in 2019 reaffirmed this assessment.

"The climate crisis poses a threat to our national security and continues to endanger the world,” said Congresswoman Escobar. “Our military recognizes this threat and has begun to tackle this crisis at home and abroad, but more remains to be done. My legislation with Senator Warren will accelerate our military’s efforts and ensure that we can better anticipate and respond to the impacts of climate change and work strategically toward true resiliency."

"Climate change is a national security threat and adapting to it is essential to maintaining our military readiness," said Senator Warren. "My bill with Congresswoman Escobar will help ensure that the Department of Defense reduces its carbon footprint while also confronting the threat of climate change with the urgency it deserves through adaption of our military's infrastructure and operations to climate change and enhanced energy efficiency."

The Department of Defense Climate Resiliency and Readiness Act would require the DoD to take specific actions to adapt to climate change and improve energy efficiency:

  • Achieve net zero energy use by United States and overseas installations not supporting combat operations by 2031, so that these installations produce as much renewable energy as the total energy consumed.
  • Include in its Annual Energy Management and Resilience Report (AEMRR) a list of the ten military installations within each military service that emit the most carbon and an estimate of total energy consumption by the DoD.
  • Consider the effects of climate change and contractors' energy efficiency performance and give preference to contractors that verifiably use green manufacturing technology. At least 50% of contracts should be awarded to green small businesses by 2030.
  • The DoD must submit to Congress a written estimate of the total energy consumption of all work to be performed under any contract and a determination of whether the contractor verifiably produces as much renewable energy as the total energy it consumes in its operations.
  • Submit an annual report to Congress on the climate change vulnerabilities of bases and other military assets, including a score that quantifies the vulnerabilities of every DoD base (domestic and overseas), and publish an unclassified version of this annual report online.
  • Consider climate change-related risks when deciding where to locate a military installation and where to position equipment, infrastructure and other military assets.
  • Invest in a new, ten-year research, development, and demonstration program on energy storage, hybrid microgrid, and energy resiliency.
  • Consider current and potential vulnerabilities of military installations to climate change in any future process of base realignment and closure (BRAC).

To view the bill text, click here and to view the section-by-section, click here.

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