The internal Defence Departmentreportwas originally issued in December 2016 but remained unpublished, theWashington Postreportedafter obtaining a copy. A final version was presented to Congress in January 2018 without the draft’s 23 references to “climate change,” leaving just one mention of the phrase.
The move de-emphasises the US military’s focus on adapting to rising sea levels which impact military bases around the world and preparations for increasingly hot temperatures as well. It follows the trend set by PresidentDonald Trump’s administration regarding climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also removed the term from the agency’s website and reports and the president began the withdrawal process from theParis Agreementon climate change, signed under Mr Obama as well.
In the final version “climate change” has been changed to “climate” or “extreme weather”.Heather Babb, a Pentagon spokeswoman,did not comment on the matter of the draft report, which included“the results of the department’s first-ever survey of officials at different installations about the effects of climate change,” theWashington Postreported.
It is unclear at this time who made the changes to the draft report before submission to Congress early this year. Ms Babb did say in a statement that “as highlighted in the report, the effects of climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to missions, operational plans, and installations….DoD continues to focus on ensuring its installations and infrastructure are resilient to a wide range of threats, including climate. The Department has a proven record of planning and preparing for such threats”