The Department of Defense (DoD) announced today that it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from non-combat activities 34 percent by 2020. The department set the target in keeping with a recent executive order signed by President Obama that seeks to have the federal government lead the country by example through improved energy and environmental performance.
Today’s announcement is part of a broader effort by DoD to improve its energy security. The target for DoD includes the department’s more than 300,000 buildings and 160,000 fleet vehicles. Buildings and fleet vehicles account for about one quarter of DoD’s energy consumption but nearly 40 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to reducing the demand for energy at its facilities, the department is shifting to more reliance on renewable energy sources. Many installations are already well underway with energy-saving improvements.
The target exempts tactical vehicles such as aircraft, ships and armored vehicles that directly support the war fighter. Reducing the energy demands of combat activities is a major focus of the department’s energy security strategy, however.
At a Senate hearing earlier this week, Dorothy Robyn, the deputy under secretary of defense for installations and environment, testified that the military’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels creates significant risks and costs at a tactical and strategic level.
“Unleashing war fighters from the tether of fuel and reducing [military] installations’ dependence on a costly and potentially fragile power grid,” said Robyn, “will not simply enhance the environment, it will significantly improve our mission effectiveness.”
Members of the news media should contact Lt. Cmdr. Wendy L. Snyder at email@example.com with any additional questions about this release.
For more information about Department of Defense installations and environment, go to http://www.defense.gov or http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2009/0809_green/ .