The Army’s New Decades-Long Climate Strategy Has No Budget

Military vehicles of the U.S. Army stand on the grounds of the Grafenwoehr military training area on Feb 9, 2022.

Military vehicles of the U.S. Army stand on the grounds of the Grafenwoehr military training area on Feb 9, 2022. Photo by Armin Weigel/picture alliance via Getty Images

The strategy includes a list of tangible objectives but no corresponding cost estimates.

The Army’s new climate strategy includes plans for an all-electric vehicle fleet and calls for microgrids on all of its 130 installations, but no estimates for what everything will cost. 

“We’re working through the funding,” Paul Farnan, the acting assistant secretary for Army installations, energy, and environment told reporters on Wednesday. And as technologies “mature and develop,” the funding will continue to be a “moving target.”

Farnan said the changes and shifts outlined in Army Secretary Christine Wormuth’s new strategy aren’t “drastic,” but they are “significant steps forward” and often serve a dual purpose. For example, switching the Army’s vehicle fleet to an electric one will improve the branch’s carbon footprint—but also reduce the audio and heat signature of soldiers in the field. The same goes for establishing microgrids on Army installations.

“We’re seeing that the best resiliency for an installation is to have a self-contained energy generation system rather than depend on anything coming from outside of the base, which has vulnerabilities,” Farnan said.  

Dual purpose or not, the Army isn’t sure how much these measures will cost.

“The funding is going to be a moving target,” Farnan said. “This is a strategy that lays out steps…a lot in the coming decade, and even some beyond the next decade.”

The technology is still “maturing and developing,” which makes it difficult to know how much that technology will cost moving forward, Farnan said. A different administration could also change how some of these objectives—with decades-long timelines—are prioritized. Some of the objectives include overarching goals with complicated expenses, costs, and budgets that will certainly evolve in the future—such as net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from Army installations by 2045. 

But even the more tangible objectives with much closer deadlines lack a cost estimate. For example, the Army’s all-electric light-duty non-tactical vehicles fleet should be in the field by 2027, according to the climate strategy. But Farnan says the Army is still working with Congress on appropriations and potential partnerships. 

“We’re going to be creative,” Farnan said. “We’re going to look at every way to stretch the dollar.” 

Not all of the funding will come from “appropriated taxpayer dollars,” Farnan said. There’s “some” funding in the fiscal year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act. There are potentials for partnerships. And, Farnan added, money that previously paid for gas-powered vehicles will, naturally, now pay for electric ones. 

“It’s not like we were getting the gas-powered vehicles for free either,” Farnan said. 

The Army-specific climate strategy follows the Pentagon’s Climate Adaptation Plan, which was  released in October 2021. However, the Pentagon’s plan focused more on how the Defense Department can continue carrying out its mission in the face of climate change, rather than how the Pentagon can contribute to stopping it. 

“The Army must adapt across our entire enterprise and purposefully pursue greenhouse gas mitigation strategies to reduce climate risks,” Wormuth said. “If we do not take action now, across our installations, acquisition and logistics, and training, our options to mitigate these risks will become more constrained with each passing year."

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.