There are signs that some countries may pledge to reduce military greenhouse gas emissions at COP26 in November. This call sets out the scope of what these pledges should include and is open for signature by organisations before and during the COP.
In spite of growing awareness among militaries of the need to reduce the environmental impact of their operations, whether domestically, during peacekeeping operations or during wartime, the environmental bootprint of military operations remains considerable. Of particular concern are greenhouse gas emissions, the legacy issues associated with military installations, as well as the exemptions from environmental oversight that militaries often enjoy. Read the military and the environment briefing.
This CEOBS/SGR study set out to estimate the carbon footprint of the EU’s military sectors. The report also provides a broad overview of the policies and measures currently being pursued to reduce military GHG emissions in the EU, and their likely effectiveness.
Report: The United Kingdom’s practice on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts
In this report we analyse the UK’s practice on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts, using the draft principles on the topic that have been developed by the UN’s International Law Commission.
A brief introduction to the relationship between military activities and environmental harm, with suggested further reading.
Pollution Politics examines how the weakness of current international humanitarian law allows the generation of conflict pollution that can impact both civilian health and the environment for long after the cessation of hostilities. The report defines toxic remnants of war, explores how they are created and argues that a new mechanism is needed to prevent and remedy environmental damage, to increase accountability and improve post-conflict response and assistance.
With interest growing in reducing military emissions, Linsey Cottrell and Eoghan Darbyshire explore why they emit so much and what it will take to reduce their contribution to climate change.
Doug Weir untangles what it actually was that NATO and its member states committed to at June’s summit. While there were some positive signs, the pledges fell short of what is needed to address military contributions to the climate crisis, in line with the Paris Agreement.
In a new report, CEOBS and SGR reveal for the first time the level of carbon emissions from the largest EU militaries and the EU military sector. This blog summaries our findings.
The military coup in Myanmar is likely to have severe and reverberating effects for the country’s environment and natural resources argues Thiri Shwesin Aung, undoing recent progress in environmental governance and sustainable development.
Report providing initial analysis of the environmental dimensions of the 2020 conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabach, and which considers environmental propaganda, the use of incendiary weapons, and water and mineral resources.
Peacetime environmental legislation can help reduce the use of hazardous materials in conflicts. In this blog Linsey Cottrell and Doug Weir examine the impact of EU REACH legislation on the European defence industry, and the implications of a hard Brexit for efforts to reduce the polluting footprint of the UK MoD.
There is a war being waged against whales, and it is being fought with noise, and it has left scientists and conservationists concerned about the potential impact of military noise on the wider marine ecosystem as a whole. Are naval activities bound by environmental norms, or will the damage continue in the name of national security?
To date, debate over the implications of the growing use of armed drones has focused on human rights, on the expansion of the use of force into new contexts, and on the imbalances created by the newfound ability to project violence at a distance. Doug Weir and Elizabeth Minor consider the environmental dimensions of the use of drone warfare. They find the literature to be largely absent of considerations over the environmental and derived humanitarian impacts of drone operations, and so this blog, should be viewed as a starting point for efforts to assess the environmental consequences of the use of armed drones.
We’re just over halfway through the negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons and, while some campaigners and states seem generally happy with the progress being made on the draft text, there are too few voicing concerns that its environmental dimensions have been neglected. This matters because the treaty is intended first and foremost as a humanitarian instrument, and yet protecting fundamental human rights requires that the environment that people depend upon is also protected.
With new legal principles on the table governing obligations for the remediation of toxic remnants of war, and to ensure data sharing on environmental risks, we take a look at the case of depleted uranium use in Iraq. The US and UK were reluctant to accept responsibility for clearance, and differed markedly on data sharing and cooperation with the Iraqi authorities and UN system.
How do weapons damage the environment? Should we be thinking only in terms of their direct impact, or should we focus on how weapons are used? Or do we also need to take a more holistic approach, one that considers their impacts on the environment from production to disposal?
Environmental protection and non-state armed groups: setting a place at the table for the elephant in the room
In this blog, Jonathan Somer begins to explore the terra incognita of current efforts to strengthen legal protection for the environment in relation to armed conflicts – the role of non-state armed groups, their policies and doctrine and why they must be part of any solution – in spite of the objections of some states.
Our research has found that #SaudiArabia does not report any data on the emissions of its #military spending and activities to the #UNFCCC. If it's serious about its #NetZero target it will need to start doing so.
I welcome Saudi Arabia’s 🇸🇦 announcement that it will reach net zero by 2060
I hope this landmark announcement at #SGIForum will galvanise ambition from others ahead of #COP26
Look forward to the detail of Saudi Arabia’s revised NDC and working together to keep 1.5C in reach
Reading through the new @DeptofDefense report on climate change risks. It looks pretty serious. Which is why it's strange that at no point does it mention how reducing their #military emissions could help address these risks https://www.defense.gov/News/News-Stories/Article/Article/2818343/dod-analysis-highlights-geostrategic-risks-of-climate-change #COP26
Desperately seeking any mention of the massive #military emissions from @DefenceHQ in the UK government's new #NetZero strategy. DMs are open if anybody else finds them: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/net-zero-strategy
The MoD is the largest institutional emitter in government. #COP26
116 recommendations developed by a civil society collaboration to improve NATO’s environmental performance and policies.
Report detailing the environmental footprint of UK military activities and operations, the UK arms industry and the potential environmental impact of the use of the UK’s nuclear weapons.
Policy brief by NATO’s Defence College on its developing environmental security agenda, which covers conflict risks, reducing harm in operations, how climate change will alter operations and impact bases, and on what role NATO should play in addressing and responding to these issues.
NATO and its member states are reacting to growing international pressure to reduce the environmental consequences of conflicts, this compilation of articles provides examples of this response.
Policy brief which shows that eight of the 10 countries hosting the largest multilateral peace operations in 2018 were located in areas highly exposed to climate change, yet international efforts to build and maintain peace are not yet taking these emerging challenges systematically into account.
A paper examining US military fuel use for the post 9-11 wars, which finds that the Department of Defense emits more CO2 than many countries with advanced economies.
This report looks at the environmental impact of peace operations and how the UN has responded, including through policies and guidelines, dedicated staff, and training material. In particular, it assesses the challenges the Department of Field Support faces in implementing its Environment Strategy.
The military has been quicker than some to grasp the problems that climate change might cause, but until recently, this hadn’t looked closer to home, and at their many installations around the world.
This series from Pro Publica sought to map toxic military sites on the continental US, investigated specific contaminants such as RDX and documented the environmental risks from practises such as outsourcing military clean-ups.
With 2017’s UN Environment Assembly focusing on the theme of pollution, UN Environment’s Civil Society Unit invited the TRW Project to contribute an extended article on conflict pollution to its long-running Perspectives series.
EU chemicals legislation intended to protect human health and the environment is having an impact on military procurement within the EU and beyond. This report outlines the concerns of the European Defence Association over these regulations.
Discussion on the environemntal dimensions of military peace-keeping operations. This chapter first appeared in Governance, Natural Resources, and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding.
This report, which is aimed at militaries, summarises the twelve principles of the Ecosystem Approach into four steps of a Rapid Ecological Assessment for the areas that armed forces are deployed to.
Revised and reissued US Army doctrinal manual on environmental protection in operations, taking into account forces health protection, the sustainability of operations and host nation relations.
Part of a long-term project between the US, Sweden and Finland to develop and promote common environmental standards for deployed militaries.
The proceedings from European Conference of Defence and the Environment cover a range of environmental issues associated with military preparedness and training, as well as the management of legacy issues on defence estates.
This report shows that peacekeeping operations not only have important natural resource implications, as well as significant impacts on the environment, but also that natural resources are often a fundamental aspect of conflict resolution, livelihoods and confidence-building at the local level.
RAND | Green Warriors – Army Environmental Considerations for Contingency Operations from Planning Through Post-Conflict
RAND’s research showed that environmental concerns can have far-reaching and significant impacts on the US Army, both direct and indirect, especially in terms of cost, current operations, soldier health, diplomatic relations, reconstruction activities, and the ultimate success of the operation or the broader mission. Some evidence suggests that environmental problems may have even contributed to insurgency in Iraq.
This guidebook gives operational planners the necessary tools to incorporate environmental considerations throughout the life cycle of the operation. Failure to integrate environmental considerations into operational- and tactical-level planning increases the risk to the health and safety of military personnel and civilian non-combatants.