3. Climate change

Climate change threatens to disrupt the lives and livelihoods of millions of people around the world. Operationally, climate change has emerged as a threat multiplier that knows no borders, potentially affecting the frequency, scale, and complexity of our future missions. It can also undermine the capacity of our infrastructure and training areas to support our readiness activities. The effects of climate change are contributing to the complexity of the global security environment.

Photo: Master Corporal VanPutten, 3 CSDB Imaging

The Arctic region is an important international crossroads where issues of climate change, international trade, and global security meet. Climate change has led to more widespread sea-ice-free conditions in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. Combined with technology advancements, these conditions are leading to a rise of activity in the Arctic that increases safety and security demands.

Climate change is affecting the frequency, duration and intensity of many climate-related hazards and disasters at home and around the world, such as floods, wildfires, droughts and extreme weather events that threaten the safety of Canadians and infrastructure. Defence must maintain the capacity to respond to a range of emergencies, including engaging in rapid disaster response and contributing to effective search and rescue operations when needed.


Given the impacts a changing climate can have on infrastructure, operations and the safety of our personnel, Defence will take action to mitigate these risks. Proper management and maintenance of infrastructure, whether it be the bases and installations where the military trains and executes its missions, or the vast support network required to maintain and operate equipment and housing for our military families, is necessary to ensure resilience to the changing climate.

Defence will anticipate and better understand the impacts of climate change by reviewing existing policy and practice across the department and CAF, and identifying key areas where climate change can have an impact. Once identified, climate change adaptation measures will be included in key policies and practices.

TARGET 10 Develop an adaptation risk assessment framework and assess DND programs as well as priority-based critical infrastructure by 2023

TARGET 11 Assess the impacts of climate change on RCN, CA and RCAF activities by 2023

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