COP26: No practical or realistic plan on global military emissions & reaching net zero.

TRANSFORM DEFENCE:  PRE-COP26 MEDIA & RESOURCES PACK

In advance of COP26 (1-11 Nov), our Transform Defence media and resources pack sought to draw public, media and political attention to the absence of any official COP26 discussion on the role of military greenhouse gas emissions on climate change and therefore, the absence of any meaningful plan to address it.Full resources and actions list at the end.

Ice sculpture video; graphics & visuals; open letters (2) and reports (2)
https://transformdefence.org/icesculpture/

Ice Sculpture Video & Scotsman Advert  
Twitter thread  https://twitter.com/TransformDef/status/1451207808830091277
Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/transformdefence/posts/348537073735568

**********

Exempt from compulsory reporting of their GHG emissions, the global military makes it difficult for researchers and the wider public to get an accurate picture of its overall contribution to climate heating.  From the data available, emissions are estimated to be several percent of total global carbon emissions and at least comparable with the carbon emissions of civil aviation.

Currently, the G20 nations alone account for 87% of annual $2trillion military spending. Those military budgets are in turn locked into fossil fuel dependent hardware like tanks, warships and the F-35 fighter jet, which drinks 6000 litres / 1585 gallons of fuel per flight hour.  All modern militaries are completely dependent on fossil fuels and they have no sign of realistic or practical net-zero plans.

At this COP26, we shared widely our Transform Defence’s primary demand: an IPCC Taskforce leading to an IPCC Special Report into the role of the global military and climate change. To reach net-zero, Transform Defence also calls for the global military to:

  • Decarbonise
  • Compulsorily report their emissions in full
  • Governments must also include their militaries in GHG reduction plans

In light of the recent IPCC Report Code Red for Humanity it is clear that the global military can be no exception: it has to decarbonise. But this in turn presents another question –how should ‘defence’ look in a post-carbon, climate changed world? Has the time come to transform ‘defence’ in the face of the biggest collective threat to our safety – the fires, droughts, floods and biodiversity collapse of runaway climate change?

As the richer nations, themselves responsible for the historic burden of GHG emissions, shamefully struggle to raise $100bn annual climate finance for poorer nations, it is worth noting that just one year of global military spending ($2tr) would deliver 20 years of international climate finance.

But something else must also be said.  To green-wash killing is not acceptable. Electric killer drones, solar panels on military bases or bio-fuels are also not the solution, but a distraction. These cannot be substitutes for the serious demilitarisation options we must now consider.

But this, unsurprisingly, is not the direction of travel. While militaries around the world, including and especially the big military spenders and emitters, accept climate change is real, that it is already impacting their operational capability (ie coastal bases flooding),  that it increases the likelihood of climate-related conflict (for which they will adopt a militarised ‘security’ approach) and that while yes, we – the military included – need to cut emissions, it is their conclusion  that all climate related planning is about ensuring that the military can continue ‘business as usual’ ie land, sea, air, cyber and space ‘defence’/war.

We make the case that now, more than ever before in human history, we need new ways of framing ‘defence’.

Our COP26 media pack covered these issues in various ways with our Ice Sculpture Video; The Scotsman full page advert addressing G20 military emissions and recommendations; Open Letter to High Level Champion on Climate Change; social media visuals and reports. These various elements are now being widely shared internationally, across networks, organisations and individuals.

RESOURCES

1. MEDIA RELEASE https://transformdefence.org/2021/10/21/cop26-open-letter-media-release/

2. MAIN PAGE Ice sculpture video; graphics & visuals; open letters (2) and reports (2)
https://transformdefence.org/icesculpture/

3. SOCIAL MEDIA  Ice Video & Scotsman Advert
Twitter thread  https://twitter.com/TransformDef/status/1451207808830091277
Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/transformdefence/posts/348537073735568

4. VIDEO ICE SCULPTURE  A message to COP26.
The global military and big oil remain indivisible. Climate chaos shows us it’s a relationship that has had its day. So, what next?

Youtube version is available here.
Twitter version is here.
Facebook version is here.
Webpage: https://transformdefence.org/icesculpture/
Ice Sculpture by Hamilton Ice Sculptors

5. THE SCOTSMAN Full page advert  Open Letter to COP26 Co-Chairs UK and Italy; G20 nations

Academics, NGOs, activists and creatives support a call for G20 militaries to come clean on their carbon emissions ahead of COP 26 in Glasgow. The 33 signatories comprise an international list from science, academia, international development, environment, peace and the arts.

6. OPEN LETTER TO NIGEL TOPPING COP26 High Level Ambassador Climate Change
Signatories from 59 organisations around the world calling for the CO26 High Level Champion to help ensure that military greenhouse gas emissions are on the agenda for COP27.
https://tippingpointnorthsouth.org/open-letter-cop26/

7. REPORTS
• Indefensible: The true cost of the global military to our climate and human security
• Global military spending, sustainable human safety and value for money