U.S. Navy Shut Down Climate Change Task Force

By Michael W. Chapman | August 27, 2019 | 1:16pm EDT
(NASA/Getty Images)

The U.S. Navy shut down its Task Force Climate Change (TFCC), which was established by President Barack Obama in 2009, reported E&E News' Greenwire.

The closure was quiet and occurred in March, according to Greenwire, and "the group's tab on the Navy's energy, environment and climate change website was removed sometime between March and July."

The purpose of the TFCC was to evaluate how climate change affects or could affect Naval and national security operations.

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Retired Navy Rear Admiral Jon White, who ran the TFCC under the Obama administration from 2012 to 2015, said the shut down was "suspicious."

"It was a very quiet canceling of the task force," he told E&E News.  "I didn't know about it; no one told me. Usually, when you stand down a task force, you want to be able to go in there and declare victory."

"It all goes back to the White House," said the rear admiral. "That's what changed, the White House."

Alice Hill, a member of the National Security Council in the Obama administration, indicated the closure of the TFCC has a lot to do "with a pattern of climate change denial in President Trump's administration," reported Greenwire

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"It's consistent with the patterns we've seen: Efforts with the title 'climate change' have either been suspended or renamed," said Hill.  "By not mentioning climate change, we are signaling the events that we're experiencing now, the impacts, are not something that immediately needs to be attended to and planned for."

"Across all of [the Defense Department], it is hard for me to see that climate change is taken as seriously at it should be," Rear Admiral white told Greenwire. "The task force ended, in my opinion, without full incorporation of climate change considerations."

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