U.S. Department of Defense Directive 4715.21: Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 4715.21 establishes a new policy to assess and manage risks associated with the impacts of climate change and ensures that climate change is incorporated into all aspects of military planning. The policy states that DoD must be able to adapt current and future operations to address the impacts of climate change in order to maintain an effective and efficient U.S. military. It assigns certain roles and responsibilities to the different offices within the DoD, and names the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment as the department’s primary climate change adaptation official.

This resource was featured in the January 29, 2016, ASAP Newsletter.

"In a January 14 memo, the Defense Department announced a new policy that requires assessment of climate change effects and for the department to account for those effects when developing plans. The memo specifically outlines specific responsibilities for implementing this policy, and names the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment as the department’s primary climate change adaptation official. This policy is in accordance with the 2013 Executive Order requiring the DoD to establish a policy to manage risks associated with climate change."

According to the directive, this involves “deliberate preparation, close cooperation, and coordinated planning by the DoD” to:

Facilitate federal, State, local, tribal, private sector, and nonprofit sector efforts to improve climate preparedness and resilience, and to implement the 2014 DoD Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap

Help safeguard U.S. economy, infrastructure, environment, and natural resources.

Provide for the continuity of DoD operations, services, and programs.

Among other mandates in the directive, the department is to assess how climate change may:

  • impact training ranges and training capabilities across DoD
  • impact the safety, health, and well-being of the DoD military and civilian workforce
  • pose risk to logistics infrastructure, key transportation modes and routes, and storage and stockpile activities
  • create vulnerabilities to acquisition and supply, including the full life cycle of weapons systems, platforms, equipment, and products within the respective DoD Component’s portfolio
  • increase the need of humanitarian assistance, global health engagement and disaster prevention

The DoD directive implements departmental strategies as required by the president's Executive Order 13653: Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change.  


 

Publication Date: January 14, 2016

Related Organizations:

  • U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)

Sectors:

  • National security

Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Agency guidance/policy

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