Hello. I’m Rachel Jacobson, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy, and Environment.
On April 22nd, the United States Army will join the Nation once again to celebrate Earth Day as we have for more than 50 years.
This year’s theme, a Partnership for the Planet, is an opportunity to showcase the Army’s successes in confronting the climate crisis while at the same time enhancing our ability to deploy, fight, and win in all environments.
The Army is taking action on the climate now. In February we released the Army’s Climate Strategy, the first military installation to ever develop such a strategy.
The Army’s Climate Strategy is a win. A win for our Army’s mission, a win for our Soldiers, and a win for the planet.
This multi-faceted strategy will accomplish a lot. First and foremost, it is focused on resilient installations and combat capabilities of the force. It will enable us to operate in a changing environment, while at the same time reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Guided by this strategy, the Army is taking specific actions to reduce the risks of climate impacts by prioritizing climate change considerations in our threat picture, strategic plans, operations and infrastructure design.
For example, we are partnering with the scientific and engineering community to identify the most innovative ways to reduce energy demand, which not only helps us lower our greenhouse gas emissions, but also better protects our Soldiers.
We are changing the way we approach Army installation master planning and design, by employing construction and sustainment standards to help protect our bases from severe weather events.
These efforts increase preparedness and help reduce installation impact from climate change. There are also many existing programs that support the Army’s Climate Strategy ranging from fleet electrification to water and energy conservation.
Among the many tools to support these efforts is the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program, also known as ACUB. This program allows the Army to create buffer zones around installations to protect training and other critical mission activities. But these buffer zones also provide habitat conservation benefits that help sequester carbon.
I encourage you to join me in celebrating a partnership for the planet and consider participating in exciting Army Earth Day events near you. As we celebrate Earth Day this year, take some time to learn how you too can help minimize the effects of climate change. And check out the Army’s Climate Strategy. Thank you very much.