Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Linda L. Fagan released the service’s first-ever Climate Framework today. "The Coast Guard Climate Framework focuses on preparedness, resilience, and collaboration with partners and stakeholders to best position the Coast Guard for the challenges climate change presents to all of us,” the Commandant writes.
The Framework has three lines of effort (LOE):
- Build climate resiliency into our workforce, infrastructure, and assets;
- Plan for and respond to more frequent weather emergencies and long-term climate trends; and
- Develop and leverage partnerships to enhance, enable, and ensure maritime safety.
The Framework is the culmination of the efforts of the Coast Guard’s Climate Community of Interest. Convened in May 2021, the body comprised over 70 Coast Guard members, who developed a strategy to confront the ongoing impacts of climate change.
“The world is changing,” the Commandant notes in the Framework. “Rising sea levels, more frequent severe weather, retreating Polar ice, migrating fish stocks, and coastal infrastructure damage are creating challenges for people around the globe. Increasing pressure to reduce environmental impact is driving change in energy generation and the global economy.”
“These impacts of climate change will influence every Coast Guard mission,” she adds. This Climate Framework charts the first waypoint of our journey as we move forward at best speed.”
The Climate Framework lays out three other concepts that will determine the Coast Guard’s success in addressing climate change:
- Strategic foresight. The service will look forward using modeling and data analytics to anticipate challenges and threats.
- Unity of effort. The Coast Guard will deepen its partnerships with other armed services, federal agencies, and domestic and international partners.
- Innovation. The service will sharpen the tools at its disposal and develop new tools, technologies, and capabilities to meet new challenges.
The uncertainties of climate change mean that members will need to incorporate climate change into a range of decisions, from short-term tactical commitments to long-term investments. Accordingly, the service will invest in our workforce and equip them with the knowledge and tools they need to prioritize climate resilience. “The Coast Guard has a long history of preparedness and stewardship. This Framework will ensure our service builds the readiness, resilience, and partner action to operate in a changing world in alignment with other US Government climate strategies and policies,” noted Deputy Commandant for Operations (DCO) Vice Adm. Peter W. Gautier.
The Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Engineering and Logistics (CG-4) is one directorate whose projects exemplify the type of innovation discussed in the Climate Framework. From solar arrays at Training Center (TRACEN) Petaluma, California, to landfill gas collection at the Coast Guard Yard, CG-4 will continue to harness new technologies and spearhead innovative and resilient energy infrastructure projects.
This spirit of innovation must be a guiding principle across all levels of the workforce. As the Commandant wrote in the Coast Guard Strategy, we must “embrace innovation and transformation.”
The Coast Guard is taking action and is committed to tackling the effects of climate change. “The Coast Guard will only continue to be ‘Semper Paratus’ by building our capacity for adaption, flexibility, and resiliency,” the Commandant writes.
To read the complete Climate Framework, please click here.
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