By Shannon Lawlor
In May 2022, the Navy responded to the climate crisis by releasing a climate action plan. The department proposed a strategy to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It also promised to assist in the Navy’s ability to become an even stronger fighting force. We are beginning to see the climate change action plan underway. This past week, the Navy conducted its first exercise that was focused on response training to climate change conditions. These steps are only the beginning of additional training alterations to come.

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What Is the Navy’s Climate Action Plan?

The military sees climate change as a prevalent threat. As temperatures climb, we will begin to see more extreme weather, rising sea levels, sweeping fires, and so much more. The dangerous conditions will create an increased need for humanitarian efforts. This is why the Department of the Navy (DON) decided to implement the climate action plan 2030. The action plan laid out strategies that the Navy intends to follow to prevent climate change. It also explained how the Navy will train to become a stronger force that can adjust and respond to any condition. The Navy climate change roadmap will allow for better training and response to the impacts we are just beginning to see. The effects of climate change cannot be ignored by the Navy or the military. Climate change will result in conditions that affect everyone. For example, the instability that will arise can cultivate food and water insecurity. In order to combat these conditions and preserve public safety, the department will focus on adjusting to and preparing for the changes to come. The response will continue to be upheld by the Navy. Climate change training is already underway.

U.S. Navy Climate Change Training

As of June 2022, the Navy has begun their first climate-change-focused training session. The Federal News Network reported that the training included high-ranking officials, Sailors, non-government organizations, industry and legislative aides, and more. The training, which focused on a fictional scenario in the late 2030s, positioned the members on an island in the western pacific. The team needed to react to a typhoon that had formed and was headed towards their location. They had been broken out into three different groups that needed to react to the scenario at three different times and in three different ways. The climate-change-focused training was conducted to prepare Navy leaders for climate contingencies and logistics surrounding preparation and reactions to them. This recent exercise encouraged Navy leaders to consider alternative reactions and plans, how to respond to communications going down, and more. The Navy will continue to include climate-change-focused training in future exercises. This kind of training enforces the climate action plan by providing the military members with an opportunity to prepare for the impacts that are very likely to ensue because of climate change. Although the Navy climate change task force was disbanded, responses to the concerns surrounding climate change are still underway. The climate action plan was the beginning of a new effort to prepare for the worst-case scenario. The Navy continues to focus on preparing itself for extreme situations. By implementing a new training program that focuses on extreme weather conditions, the Navy is able to continue following through on its promise to become a stronger force prepared for all possible conditions.

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