U.S. Department of Defense 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap

The Department of Defense (Department, DoD) recognizes that climate change will affect their ability to defend the Nation and poses immediate risks to U.S. national security, and has developed the Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap representing the Department’s climate adaptation activities and strategies in response to these impacts. The 2014 report builds upon and updates the original 2012 DoD Adaptation Roadmap. 

DoD has established three broad adaptation goals:

1. Identify and assess the effects of climate change on the Department
2. Integrate climate change considerations across the Department and manage associated risks.
3. Collaborative with internal and external stakeholders on climate change challenges. 

The Roadmap is divided into four sections: the policy framework for climate change adaptation planning, and the three goal sections. For each of the three goals, the Roadmap provides an overview, and specific details on how the Department’s adaptation will occur across lines of effort, as well as a description of ongoing efforts.

DoD states that “politics or ideology must not get in the way of sound planning” and has assessed that due to climate change “the military could be called upon more often to support civil authorities, and provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the face of more frequent and more intense natural disasters. Our coastal installations are vulnerable to rising sea levels and increased flooding, while droughts, wildfires, and more extreme temperatures could threaten many of our training activities. Our supply chains could be impacted, and we will need to ensure our critical equipment works under more extreme weather conditions. Weather has always affected military operations, and as the climate changes, the way we execute operations may be altered or constrained.”

The DoD is performing a baseline survey to assess the vulnerability of the military’s more than 7,000 bases, installations, and other facilities to the impacts of climate change. Drawing on these assessments, climate change considerations are being integrated into plans, operations, and training across the Department to manage associated risks. For example, in the Hampton Roads region in Virginia, which houses the largest concentration of U.S. military sites in the world, there is recurrent flooding today, and they are addressing a projected sea-level rise of 1.5 feet over the next 20 to 50 years.


The Department of Defense published its first Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap in 2012, fulfilling Executive Order 13514 which required all Federal agencies to evaluate climate change impacts on their missions and operations, and include an adaptation plan as an appendix to its annual Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan. This 2014 update fulfills Executive Order 13653 requiring the continued development of adaptation planning and integration. 

Publication Date: October 2014

Related Organizations:

  • U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Adaptation plan


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