U.S. Navy Shuts Task Force on Climate Change

According to an article in E&E News, the U.S. Navy has shut down its Task Force on Climate Change (TFCC). The task force created was created in 2009 to plan and develop “future public, strategic, and policy discussions” on the issue. The task force apparently ended in March 2019 and the group’s tab removed from the Navy’s energy, environment and climate change website. (As of August 7, 2019, there is still a climate change link in the lower right corner of the site that now leads to an empty page titled “Climate Change Fact Sheets.”)

The TFCC has released several reports on the challenges posed by climate change including studies addressing what the melting Arctic means for strategic planning, and the dangers sea-level rise and extreme weather pose to many naval installations.

According to E&E News, a Navy spokesperson said the TFCC was ended because its processes are “now duplicative as functions have been transitioned to existing business processes; therefore, the original components of the task force are no longer needed.” However, a source stated that they saw “little evidence that the task force’s work has been fully incorporated into the Navy’s decisionmaking process” and that they were suspicious of how quietly TFCC was shut down. In addition, the task force did not release a final report and the Navy has not indicated the exact offices that will be taking over the task force’s area of responsibility.