Meeting on Climate Change Impacts to Department of Defense Installations: Decision Framework Pilots

November 27 and 28, 2012

Arlington, VA


Meeting Charge Statement


Background:  The meeting is motivated by a range of factors including the following.

  • A number of documents provide a basis for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the military Services to address the risks from climate change.  The three documents listed below generally do not elaborate the details of the relevant strategies and tactics for understanding the impacts of climate change and potential adaptation actions.
  • 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review:  Identifies the need for DoD to complete a comprehensive assessment of all installations to assess the potential impacts of climate change on its missions and adapt as required;
  • 2010 Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan:  Submitted by DoD to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).  Identifies a three-phase strategy to address climate change risks;

    • DoD and the military Services need to continue to make progress on the issues outlined in these documents in part through a collaboration between scientists/analysts and policy makers.
    • The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) has funded a number of activities that are intended to help inform this dialogue.  These activities include:
    • A range of studies aimed at understanding the impacts of climate change on coastal, Pacific Island, arid region, and cold region (high-latitude) installations.
    • Several studies that intend to improve the understanding of how to manage species and ecosystems that will be affected by climate change.
    • A white paper that is informed in part by the aforementioned coastal studies describing technical and institutional considerations for coastal vulnerability assessments.
    • Five new projects that are studying how to enhance the effectiveness of decisions that can contribute to reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience at military installations under climate change.

This meeting will bring together: the Principal Investigators from the latter five climate change decision framework projects; policy makers and analysts from the Office of Secretary of Defense and the military Services concerned with the Department’s potential vulnerabilities to, impacts from, and responses to climate change; and SERDP staff and consultants. 

Objectives:  The meeting is structured in a way that is intended to help benefit the interests of all participants by advancing:

  • development of strategies for incorporating climate change-related policy and guidance across DoD and the military Services;
  • consideration of climate change in installation-level planning and operations;
  • SERDP decision framework projects, which are exploring approaches for supporting climate-relevant decisions at installations, understanding of installation weather/climate-related issues, protocols, and contacts; and
  • understanding of the linkages between installation-level and higher level decisions related to climate change
  • coordination and cross-fertilization across the different projects with respect to the climate modeling and synthesis of decision support approaches.

Approach:  The meeting, to be held at the Westin Hotel in Arlington, VA on November 27 and 28, 2012, will be an invitation-only forum of about 50 to 60 participants on Day 1 and 30 to 40 participants on Day 2.  Day 1 invitees will include SERDP research project team representatives, military Service liaisons, SERDP staff, and additional senior policy staff from the Services and Office of the Secretary of Defense offices who have a role in the development or implementation of policy and guidance related to climate change vulnerability and impact assessment and adaptation planning.  Day 2 invitees to the meeting will include SERDP research project team representatives, military Service liaisons, and SERDP staff.  Elements of the meeting will include plenary presentations, project overviews, and interactive discussions.

Product:  The meeting activities and outcomes will be summarized in a brief meeting report that will serve as a roadmap for future engagement.

Sponsor:  This event is sponsored by SERDP.