U.S. Army unveils plan for “net-zero” emissions by 2050

February 8, 2022

While the rest of the world slowly realizes that climate change is happening now, the U.S. Army is preparing for a war against climate change.

The U.S. Army has unveiled its plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2032 and achieve “net-zero” emissions by 2050.

The U.S. Army Climate Strategy is the result of the Biden administration executive order targeting climate change as a national security threat and a Department of Defense study identifying the national security risks posed by climate change effects.

The assessment found that climate change effects would create an increased risk of armed conflict around the world and would negatively affect the readiness of U.S. military forces if the military does not work to mitigate those effects.

"The time to address climate change is now. The effects of climate change have taken a toll on supply chains, damaged our infrastructure, and increased risks to Army Soldiers and families due to natural disasters and extreme weather,” said Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth.

“The Army must adapt across our entire enterprise and purposefully pursue greenhouse gas mitigation strategies to reduce climate risks. 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."

If adhered to, the strategy could help reduce the U.S. military’s greenhouse gas emissions, which is larger than those of many industrialized nations.

The service will attempt to achieve those goals by enhancing resilience and sustainability onboard its installations and in its acquisition and logistics procurement processes.

The Army plans to power all of its installations with purchased carbon-free electricity by 2030 and plans to install renewable energy microgrids at every installation by 2035 to provide its own carbon-free electricity to all facilities by 2040.

The service also plans to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of its buildings by 50% by modernizing construction and operation techniques and maximizing the efficiency of building lighting and water reclamation capabilities.

The Army will also modernize its acquisition and logistics capabilities by electrifying its fleet of non-tactical vehicles, a move the service said will reduce costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions per mile by 12%. The service will also adopt a “Buy Clean” policy for material procurement and aim for carbon-free contingency basing, the practice of storing equipment and materiel at areas where the Army may need to operate.

The Army ultimately plans to create and maintain hybrid-drive tactical vehicles by 2035 and fully electric tactical vehicles by 2050.

U.S. Army unveils plan for “net-zero” emissions by 2050