WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a member of the Armed Services Committee, applauded the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for agreeing to their April 2019 request to investigate the impacts of climate change on defense contractors and the defense supply chain, and the extent to which the Department of Defense (DoD) addresses climate change and other environmental risks during the contracting process.

“We’re pleased that the GAO has accepted our request to investigate the national security risks posed by climate change to DoD contractors and the defense supply chain,” said Reed and Warren in a joint statement.  “The DoD and its contractors must take our rapidly changing climate into account as part of enhancing military readiness and ensuring the efficient use of taxpayer dollars.”

In their April 11 letter requesting the investigation, Senators Reed and Warren asked GAO to address several questions including:

  1. To what extent does climate change pose a threat to the facilities and operations of key private sector DoD contractors, and how do contractors' climate change vulnerabilities affect military operations and readiness?
  2. To what extent are contractors required to disclose, either to the public, to financial regulators, or to DoD, any potential threats to their facilities or operations as a result of climate change?
  3. To what extent do DoD contracting officials, during the procurement process, take into consideration: (a) the actions taken by contractors to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions and their history of compliance with the nation's environmental laws; and (b) the potential threats to contractors' facilities and operations as a result of climate change?

In their April 24 response letter to Senator Reed, GAO estimated it will be available to initiate the investigation in about three months.