The U.S. Department of Defense is setting up a working group to focus on climate change.
The new group will be led by Joe Bryan, who was appointed as a special assistant to the Secretary of Defense focused on climate earlier this year.
The move is one of several steps that the Biden administration has taken to push an agenda that looks to address the dangers posed by global climate change.
Bryan, who previously served as deputy assistant to the Secretary of the Navy for Energy under the Obama administration, will oversee a group intended to coordinate the Department’s responses to Biden’s recent executive order and subsequent climate and energy-related directives and track implementation of climate and energy-related actions and progress, according to a statement.
The Department of Defense controls the purse strings for hundreds of billions of dollars in government spending and is a huge consumer of electricity, oil and gas, and industrial materials. Any steps it takes to improve the efficiency of its supply chain, reduce the emissions profile of its fleet of vehicles, and use renewable energy to power operations could make a huge contribution to the commercialization of renewable and sustainable technologies and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The Pentagon is already including security implications of climate change in its risk analyses, strategy development and planning guidance, according to the statement, and is including those risk analyses in its installation planning, modeling, simulation and war gaming, and the National Defense Strategy.
“Whether it is increasing platform efficiency to improve freedom of action in contested logistics environments, or deploying new energy solutions to strengthen resilience of key capabilities at installations, our mission objectives are well-aligned with our climate goals,” wrote Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, in a statement. “The department will leverage that alignment to modernize the force, strengthen our supply chains, identify opportunities to work closely with allies and partners, and compete with China for the energy technologies that are essential to our future success.”