Media Release: Richest Nations Spending 30 Times as Much on Military as Climate Finance


As the world’s climate negotiators gather in Egypt for the 27th annual climate talks, a new report reveals that military spending is deepening the climate crisis by increasing emissions, diverting money and fuelling conflict in the most climate-vulnerable countries.

The report, Climate Collateral, produced by the international research organisation, Transnational Institute, together with Stop Wapenhandel (Netherlands) and Tipping Point North South (UK) examines the impact of rising global military spending on the climate crisis. It finds that:

  • The richest nations (known as ‘Annex 2’ countries in UN climate negotiations) are spending 30 times as much on military as on climate finance 
  • The increase in military spending has led to rises in military greenhouse gas emissions, calculated to currently make up 5.5% of total greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Rather than providing climate finance, Annex 2 countries are selling arms to 40 of the most climate-vulnerable nations fuelling conflict and instability as the climate crisis deepens

Two of the report’s co-authors, Nick Buxton and Muhammad Al-Kashef will speak at a Twitter space on the report’s findings at 4pm on 16 November:

The report examines the claims by NATO member states such as the US and UK that they are addressing climate change by greening their militaries. The report details various ‘net zero’ goals but finds no evidence that the military can reduce the vast majority of its emissions for its jets, ships and tanks, which are highly dependent on fossil fuels and for which alternative fuels are non-existent or come with unacceptable social and environmental costs.

The report also shines a spotlight on the COP27 host nation, Egypt, as a case-study of a nation supported by European and US arms deals rather than climate finance, which has enabled an authoritarian regime to continue to repress its peoples.

Co-author of the report, Nick Buxton of Transnational Institute said:

‘This report shows that climate change has become the latest collateral damage of war. There are only a few years to act to address the climate crisis, but the world’s militaries are adding fuel to the fire. The $2.1 trillion of global military spending is diverting money from climate action, increasing emissions and fueling conflict in the most climate vulnerable nations. We urgently need to de-escalate tensions and find peaceful solutions to conflicts if we are to defend our planet. There is no secure nation on an unsafe planet.’

Contact: Nick Buxton  | +44 7529 224684 | | @nickbuxton

Wendela de Vries, a researcher at StopWapenhandel, Dutch campaign against the arms trade said:

‘In the middle of a climate crisis, we need security for all, not just for the rich countries. Instead of spending money on arms and selling arms to vulnerable countries, the richest nations should deliver on their promised climate finance and reduce their military emissions.’

Contact: Wendela de Vries  | +31 (0) 6 506 522 06  |  |  @CTWnl

Co-author of the report, Deborah Burton of Tipping Point North South who attended COP27 said:

‘Inside this COP27 I have seen a quantum leap in the awareness of military emissions by delegates, governments and media alike. Those emissions cannot be divorced from high military spending, nor from the scandal of the richest countries failing to meet climate finance targets and refusing to back Loss and Damage. Our report pulls all these threads together and offers ways forward.’ 


  1. The full report can be found at The executive summary is also available in Dutch, Spanish, Catalan and Arabic.
  2. Journalists are invited to attend the Twitter space, The costs of investing in war in a time of climate breakdown, at 4pm on Wednesday 16 November. Speakers will be: co-authors Nick Buxton and Muhammad al-Kashef as well as Linsey Cottrell, author of the report, Estimating the Military’s Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions, published on 10 November.
  3. Deborah Burton of Tipping Point North South attended COP27 and spoke at a packed UNFCCC side event, Dealing with military and conflict related emissions under the UNFCCC, on 9 November