WASHINGTON, DC – Recognizing recent press reports on the impacts of climate change on U.S. national security, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement:

"Climate change and impacts from extreme weather are serious, growing threats to U.S. national security.  As I have said for years, climate change affects military budgets, plans, and operations, and we should take aggressive action to mitigate the threat.

"Already, climate change has cost the Department of Defense billions of dollars in installation damages and it will increasingly have an impact on readiness and geopolitical tensions around the world. 

"The Pentagon must better prepare for the effects of environmental degradation.  Congress must invest in equipment, capabilities, and installations that are resilient and can effectively operate in a changing climate.

"A reasonable first step for DOD would be the adoption of distributed and renewable energy sources. Solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal energy sources consistently supply baseload power demands, and will become more resilient as technology and affordability improves.  Not only do these energy sources enhance the combat capability of warfighters, they save DOD money that can be spent on training and readiness.

"The threat of climate change to our national security is not an 'if.'  We are facing it now, and we must respond forcefully."