U.S. Air Force releases climate change plan

U.S. Air Force and Space Force officials released a climate action plan Wednesday that includes a goal of operating its bases at net-zero emissions by 2046.

U.S. Air Force and Space Force officials released a climate action plan Wednesday that includes a goal of operating bases at net-zero emissions by 2046, an ambitious effort to rein in the sizable carbon footprint of the U.S. military’s air wing.

The plan, the first from the branches, also takes into account how the Air Force will need to adapt its operations to changing climate conditions, most notably within the infrastructure of its bases and where its energy comes from.

“Extreme weather and environmental conditions are already imposing high costs on Department of the Air Force installations and operational missions, while simultaneously posing new risks to our ability to train and operate effectively,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said in the plan. 

He recognized the Air Force as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the Defense Department. The overall carbon footprint of the U.S. military rivals that of some countries such as Denmark and Portugal, according to research from Boston University. Those gases are what drive global warming and contribute to the worsening effects of climate change, such as extreme weather events.

In order to maintain air and space power, the plan looks to use targeted investments to modernize the infrastructure of its bases around the world, starting with $36 million in the next year, with an increase to $100 million per year by the end of 2026. The Department of the Air Force requested a budget of approximately $194 billion for the next fiscal year.

https://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/us-air-force-releases-plan-reduce-carbon-footprint-adapt-climate-chang-rcna50632


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