Date: 13 October 2021
Dear Mr Topping
Military greenhouse gas emissions must be on the agenda for COP27
Militaries are major greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters and typically the largest energy consumers among any government agency. Because militaries have been excluded from compulsory reporting obligations since Kyoto, data on global military emissions is very limited. In spite of the scale of their emissions, the military’s contribution to climate change impacts is not part of official COP26 discussions in November 2021.
In November 2020, the EU published the Climate Change and Defence Roadmap, which recognises that the military must take action to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. However, this roadmap is not legally binding. In June 2021, NATO members also pledged to begin to reduce their military GHG emissions. No clear targets have yet been provided by member states, or detail on how GHG emission reductions will be achieved.
Meanwhile, public awareness of this issue is growing. As of 17th September, more than 100 organisations have called for governments to commit to meaningful military reductions pledges at COP26. Climate, development and peace experts have signed an open letter calling for an IPCC Special Taskforce to be established, while a petition asking for the military to be included in GHG reporting and reduction targets has more than 17,000 signatories.
An obligation on governments to fully report the emissions of their militaries is a critical first step given the urgency of the climate crisis. As the UK’s High Level Champion for Climate Action, we ask for your support in ensuring that military GHG emissions are included on the agenda for COP27.
As global military spending continues to increase – reaching US$ 2 trillion in 2020 – the military sector must be included in GHG reduction targets if countries are to have a chance of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.
We look forward to your response and written reply.
Co-Founder Tipping Point North South/Transform Defence Project
For and on behalf of the following supporting signatories.
Abingdon Peace Group
Anglican Pacifist Fellowship
Beyond Uranium Canberra
Biodiversity Conservation Center, Moscow
California for a World BEYOND War
Campaign Against Arms Trade
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Centre Delàs d’Estudis per la Pau
Conflict and Environment Observatory
Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes
Cumbria and Lancashire Area CND
East Lancs CND
Energy Mix Productions Inc.
EUROMIL (European Organisation of Military Associations and Trade Unions)
Environmentalists Against War
Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (FOGGS)
Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS)
International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW)
Kidlington Peace Campaign
Kingston Peace Council/CND
Milieudefensie – Friends of the Earth Netherlands
Monterey Peace and Justice Center
Movement for the Abolition of War
Ohne Rüstung Leben
Oxfordshire Railway Society
Pax Christi, England and Wales
Peace Pledge Union
Pendle Climate Action Group
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Physicians for Social Responsibility, Arizona Chapter, USA
Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA)
Rete italiana Pace e Disarmo
San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility
Scientists for Global Responsibility
Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Nuclear Disarmament
Shadow World Investigations
Socio-ecological union international
South Pennines COP 26 Hub
Stop Fuelling War
Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society
Tipping Point North South
United Nations Association London and South East Region (UNA LASER)
United Nations Association – UK
Veteranos Por la Paz España
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, UK Section
World BEYOND War
Zoï Environment Network