Pew Commends Department of Defense for Launching Climate Working Group

Letter expresses support for using nature-based solutions to improve security and resiliency at coastal military installations

Pew Commends Department of Defense for Launching Climate Working Group

On May 5, 2021, The Pew Charitable Trusts submitted comments to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin regarding the Pentagon’s establishment of a Climate Working Group as part of the Department of Defense (DOD) response to President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.”

In its letter, Pew applauded DOD’s leadership in recognizing and responding to climate change by enhancing the country’s security while improving environmental resilience at coastal military installations. In particular, the letter encouraged the working group to expand the use of nature-based solutions via the department’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program, Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, and other initiatives.

Pew also recommended that the working group focus on continuing to protect and restore coastal habitats that provide natural defenses against storm surge, erosion, and water quality degradation; engaging a wider and more diverse circle of partners; enhancing planning; and improving DOD flexibility. The letter cited the work of REPI in Virginia and North Carolina and of the Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability (SERPPAS) as examples of this more focused, inclusive, and nimble approach. On May 4, 2021, SERPPAS, a group of regional government and military officials, launched an effort to conserve a 1 million-acre stretch of salt marsh extending from northeast Florida to North Carolina.

In addition, Pew applauded DOD’s commitment to incorporating analyses of the risks that climate change poses to its operations and installations into all its work.

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