Once indirect sources are included, it is estimated that militaries are responsible for around 5.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions linked to warfare contribute further to this figure. Because reporting of military and conflict emissions to the UNFCCC is largely voluntary, data is often absent, incomplete or hidden – this is the military emissions gap.
As a result of this exemption, the military sector has lagged behind in addressing its outsized contribution to the climate crisis. With militaries across the globe beginning to consider the impact that climate change will have on national security and on their operations, it is imperative that emissions reductions and decarbonisation receive equal attention.
This one day conference brings together academia, civil society and industry experts to consider how best to mitigate the military’s contribution to the climate crisis, and how to better understand the emissions footprint of armed conflicts.
Register to join the conference online here
Attendance in person is by invitation only. If you would like to be considered for an in-person invitation, please contact ellie(@)ceobs.org
University and College Union (UCU) Strike Action – 25th to 29th September
UCU have announced that strike action will take place next week, when this conference is scheduled to take place. We acknowledge and support UCU’s members right to strike and after significant deliberation and discussions with members of the UCU, we have taken the decision to proceed and relocate the conference to an off-campus site.
We have not made this decision lightly. The conference has already taken many months of planning and logistically, it has been difficult to relocate at the last minute. Due to the international nature of the conference, many panellists and attendees have paid for travel arrangements to attend in person and already over 200 attendees have registered to join us online. We appreciate that this means UCU members may not be able to attend but unfortunately, at this point, it was not financially viable to move the conference to a date after the strike due to travel and accommodation costs already being paid for, and time limitations on the funding available for the event.
We understand and support the decision of any UCU members to not attend the conference and will be happy to share recordings of the panels and discuss further collaboration after the strike. You can find out why colleagues are striking here. Additionally, we will be inviting a conversation in person over lunch to discuss the intersection between worker’s rights, the climate crisis, and militaries and the military technology industry.
Panel 1: An overview of the military carbon footprint
In this introductory session, a panel of experts will outline the sources of military emissions throughout the entire lifecycle.
- Chair: Dr Benjamin Neimark – Queen Mary University of London
- Carlos Ferreira – Center for Industrial Ecology
- Linsey Cottrell – The Conflict and Environment Observatory
- Magnus Sparrevik – Norwegian University of Science and Technology
- Dr Reuben Larbi – Lancaster University
Panel 2: From bases to bombers: assessing the military’s organisational emissions
Scope 1 and 2 emissions are at the heart of the military carbon footprint. These encompass the fuel use of all military vehicles – on land, in the air, and on or in water – and the energy use of military bases – including direct heating and electricity use. This panel will examine key data, identifying emerging lessons for emissions reporting standards, as well as looking at some historical causes of reductions.
- Chair: Doug Weir – The Conflict and Environment Observatory
- Dr Stuart Parkinson – Scientists for Global Responsibility
- Professor Neta Crawford – University of Oxford
- Dr Oliver Heidrich – University of Newcastle
- Axel Michaelowa – Perspectives Climate Group, University of Zurich
- James Clare – UK Ministry of Defence
Panel 3: Understanding wartime emissions: lessons from Ukraine
Russia’s war in Ukraine has contributed to unprecedented interest in the emissions footprint of armed conflicts, encouraging novel efforts to comprehensively estimate its emissions. Emissions from the war zone, and its impact on emissions elsewhere were estimated for the first 12 months of war. This panel will discuss the initial results, and the numerous challenges in determining impact emissions sources, and around data collection and methodologies.
- Chair: Linsey Cottrell – The Conflict and Environment Observatory
- Lennard de Klerk – Initiative on GHG Accounting of War
- Mykola Shlapak – Initiative on GHG Accounting of War
- Rostyslav Bun – Lviv Polytechnic National University, WSB University
- Ladan Abrari – LUT University
- Sergiy Zibtsev – Zoï Environment Network
Panel 4: Military carbon footprints: how do we decarbonise?
Decarbonising the military will require a combination of mitigation solutions, including developing and adopting new technologies, use of nature-based solutions across the military estate, education, behavioural change and even rethinking military strategy. This panel will discuss the broad and diverse range of possible mitigation actions, and the challenges of implementing them.
- Chair: Dr Sarah Ashbridge – Principal Analyst, DSTL
- Duncan Depledge – Net Zero Militaries project, Loughborough University
- Finlay Asher – Safe Landing
- Dr Karen Bell – Glasgow University
- Ben Bekkering, VADM (ret) – International Council on Climate Change and Security
This conference is being predominantly funded by UKRI-ESRC Concrete Impacts and is jointly organised by:
- Concrete Impacts
- Conflict and Environment Observatory
- Initiative on GHG Accounting of War
- Scientists for Global Responsibility
- University of Oxford, Department of Politics and International Relations
- QMUL, Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences
For further information, please contact ellie(@)ceobs.org.