US Air Force and Space Force unveil plan to operate bases at net zero emissions by 2046

The United States Air Force and Space Force unveiled the first plan from the branch this week to target its impact on climate change, aiming to operate all bases at net zero emissions by the year 2046.

Statistically, the Air Force is the most pollutive branch of the United States military, which overall rivals entire nations abroad in greenhouse gas emissions. The ambitious plan outlines three major focuses of the Air and Space Forces when it comes to tackling climate change and the carbon footprint the departments leave during their routine operations.

The first goal of the plan is to maintain US Air and Space Force dominance in spite of climate change. The second is to run the branches by making “climate-informed” decisions. The third goal of the plan is to seek alternative energy sources and optimize energy use throughout the branch. 

In a statement, the Department of Defense recognized its role in contributing to the causes of climate change as well as its role in combating it.

“DOD has identified climate change as a critical national security issue. Climate change will continue to amplify operational demands on the force, degrade installations and infrastructure resilience, increase health risks to our service members and require modifications to existing and planned equipment needs,” the press release reads.

Each branch of the United States military published its own plan to combat climate change. The Air Force had never submitted such a plan prior to this year in spite of its high emissions rates.

The Department of Defense released a statement on Monday listing some of the ways climate change has already impacted the US Military, including rising sea levels at Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia, and hurricane damage to facilities in Florida. 

“Our office has our work cut out for us, both internally within the department and externally with allies and partners,” said Iris Ferguson, who is heading the effort to minimize the US military’s carbon footprint. “Climate change is creating a new operating context for the department, and our success and resilience will be contingent on how fast we can adapt.”




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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