Climate change could have significant implications for U.S. air missions, which are critical to America’s ability to protect the homeland, project power and ensure access to the global commons. In the short term, the Air Force and Navy are determining how to consider climate change in their energy strategies, both to ensure more dependable access to and more efficient use of fuel, and to meet energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction requirements set by the president, Congress, Department of Defense and state governments. In the mid to long term, climate change has the potential to affect air forces more directly by changing operating and strategic environments. Currently, however, the air forces are split in how they consider the short- and long-term implications of climate change and how they prioritize energy and climate change concerns. In this working paper, CNAS Research Assistant Will Rogers synthesizes how America’s air forces are considering climate change, identifies the role energy concerns play in the services’ decision-making calculations and offers recommendations on how to better integrate energy security and climate change concerns into near- and long-term strategic planning.
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