Warren releases plan to tackle climate change threats to military
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition – After GOP infighting, Trump Jr. agrees to testify again The Memo: 2020 Dems line up for Maddow primary Sanders gets assist from Ocasio-Cortez against Biden MORE (Mass.) on Wednesday released a plan to prepare the military for climate change, including a requiring the Pentagon to achieve net-zero carbon emissions on noncombat bases by 2030.
“In short, climate change is real, it is worsening by the day, and it is undermining our military readiness. And instead of meeting this threat head-on, Washington is ignoring it — and making it worse,” Warren wrote in a post on Medium.
“Nibbling around the edges of the problem is no longer enough — the urgency of the moment demands more,” she added.
Warren, who unveiled the plan in both the blog post shared by her campaign press office and a bill to be introduced in the Senate this week, has been working to stand out from the 20-plus other Democrats running for president by releasing detailed policy proposals on a number of issues.
On military issues, she previously released a plan to address substandard housing provided by private contractors.
Warren, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has zeroed in on climate change in her questions to witnesses at hearings this year.
Military leadership has for years recognized threats posed by climate change, but their acknowledgment of it has become a touchier subject under President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS ambassador: ‘Israel is on the side of God’ Trump’s Doral resort revenue has dropped since presidential campaign: report Michael Wolff’s ‘Fire and Fury’ sequel due out in June MORE, who has often questioned the reality of climate change.
In her Wednesday post, Warren highlighted that Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida and Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska have been battered by storms in the last couple years and require billions of dollars to be rebuilt.
She also cited the military’s characterization of climate change as a “threat multiplier” that exacerbates issues that lead to conflict.
Warren called the “ambitious goal” of achieving net-zero carbon emissions on noncombat bases by 2030 “consistent” with the Green New Deal, a climate plan championed by progressive firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition – After GOP infighting, Trump Jr. agrees to testify again Sanders gets assist from Ocasio-Cortez against Biden Overnight Energy: House Dems propose billions for green programs Trump sought to cut | Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez tout Green New Deal, jab at Biden | Biden fires back at criticism on climate MORE (D-N.Y.) that has been backed by several Democratic presidential candidates.
In addition to the net-zero goal for the bases, Warren’s plan would require contractors who haven’t achieved net-zero carbon emissions to pay a fee of one percent of the value of the contract. The fee would go into a fund to adapt the military to climate change.
The plan would also require the annual Pentagon budget to include dedicated funds to adapt to and mitigate climate change, as well as estimates on the effects of climate change-related events.
She would also create a new position of assistant secretary of Defense for energy and climate resiliency and require an annual report on the effects of climate change on the Pentagon.
Warren also said she plans to invest “billions of dollars” into a new, 10-year research program at the Pentagon focused on microgrids and advanced energy storage.
“We don’t have to choose between a green military and an effective one,” she wrote. “My energy and climate resiliency plan will improve our service members’ readiness and safety, all while achieving cost savings for American taxpayers. Our military understands that, and it’s time our elected leaders did as well. Together, we can work with our military to fight climate change — and win.”