It looks like NATO has pledged to reduce its institutional emissions but won’t publish the methodology it will use to count them. Doug Weir argues that this lack of transparency underscores the importance of military emissions instead being addressed by the UNFCCC.
The United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) obliges some states to report on their greenhouse gas emissions every year. But, because reporting military emissions is voluntary, many governments have chosen not to. We call this lack of transparency the ‘military emissions gap’.
We know that militaries are significant emitters of greenhouse gas emissions, whether in peacetime or during operations. We also know that improving transparency over their emissions reporting is a key first step towards making the urgent cuts that are needed.
Working with researchers from Lancaster and Durham universities ‘Concrete Impacts’ project, we have created militaryemissions.org – a website dedicated to making the data that states report to the UNFCCC more transparent and accessible. The site was launched during COP26.
The website is part of a package of activities that CEOBS is working on around how militarism, conflicts and peace influence greenhouse gas emissions. With growing military engagement on the issue, it is vital that we scrutinise the pledges and claims being made, as well as articulate our expectations for how militaries should address their outsize impact on the environment.
For more information please contact Doug Weir (doug at ceobs.org) or Linsey Cottrell (linsey at ceobs.org).