Pentagon Calls Climate Change a "Threat Multiplier"

On March 4, the Pentagon released its Quadrennial Defense Review 2014 (2014 QDR), which said climate change is a “threat multiplier” and a critical component of future defense strategy. The 2014 QDR states, “Climate change poses another significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating . . . These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.” The Pentagon is developing strategies to address climate threats through operational provisions, including expanded investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency to improve climate resilience. The report notes that climate change may undermine the ability of the military's domestic installations to support training activities, as well as increase the frequency and difficulty of future missions.