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National Security Snapshot: Climate Change Risks to National Security

GAO-22-105830 Published: Sep 13, 2022. Publicly Released: Sep 13, 2022.
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Fast Facts

Climate change poses threats to national security, as effects like rising sea levels and catastrophic storms threaten both military and civilian infrastructure and can even affect migration patterns. This report outlines our work and recommendations in this area since 2014.

For example, in 2019, we found DOD relied on past experience rather than climate projections when designing projects. And in 2020, we found that DOD's acquisition and supply processes didn't include routine assessments of its contractors' climate-related risks.

Damage to a Rail Line at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Caused by Hurricane Florence in 2018

Hurricane damage to a rail line

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GAO has a large body of work assessing the potential risks that climate change poses to national security.

This report highlights some of these risks and actions taken by the Department of Defense and civilian federal agencies to increase resilience to the effects of climate change on Department of Defense and civilian infrastructure and adjust to changing national security requirements. It also highlights key relevant GAO recommendations.

For more information, contact Elizabeth A. Field at (202) 512-2775 or

Full Report

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