Navy to Ask Vendors for Climate-Change Info

     (CN) – The United States Navy said Tuesday that it will begin requiring major vendors to report on their products’ output of greenhouse gases, and work toward lowering its carbon footprint.
     The Navy is the world’s single-largest user of fossil fuels, and the first branch of the military to make changes in an effort to thwart climate change.
     “We’ve got skin in this game,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Tuesday during a Silicon Valley conference on technology, government and climate change.
     The Navy could use its $170 billion budget as an incentive for military contractors to reduce their products’ carbon emissions. The U.S. military has listed climate change as a threat to national security since 2014, specifying that extreme weather events and drought can lead to conflict and extremism.
     Kassie Siegel, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute, applauded the Navy’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but cautioned that greater action is needed in order to make significant changes in the global effort to curb climate change.
     “The Navy’s announcement is part of a growing trend of greater disclosure of greenhouse emissions, but it just doesn’t go far enough,” Siegel said. “The Navy needs to put some teeth in this plan by actually requiring vendors to reduce emissions.
     “Given the clear evidence that global warming will inflict serious harm on the U.S. and the entire world, just reporting how much pollution is being pumped into our atmosphere is not enough at this point,” Siegel continued. “We’ve let the climate crisis build for so long that we need immediate action to cut emissions on virtually every front.”
     While the announcement did not commit the Navy to rejecting products with high emissions, it follows the lead of the General Services Administration which in 2015 began to require its vendors to report carbon emissions and aim for lower targets. It was the first federal agency to establish this requirement.
     Mabus said the Navy is responsible for about one-third of the Pentagon’s fossil-fuel use.
     He also brought up the Navy’s efforts to transition toward cleaner energy, including a greater use of renewable energy and solar-powered blankets which help Navy SEALs remain in cold weather without as much need for traditional fuel.

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