TPNS new initiative launched with two new reports and a call to ‘Transform Defence’ on 5th anniversary of Paris Climate Agreement

TPNS new initiative launched with two new reports and a call to ‘Transform Defence’ on 5th anniversary of Paris Climate Agreement

Tipping Point North South has pulled together its various military spending strands under one new banner: Transform Defence for Sustainable Human Safety is a project comprising a number of elements including the Five Percent Proposal and the case that military spending is an urgent international development issue; the global military’s impact on climate change and human insecurity; the absence in UN processes of the global military’s emissions accounting; and its Green New Deal Plus.

Transform Defence for Sustainable Human Safety ​describes the paradigm shift we need for all defence, security​, foreign and international development​ policies​ in a climate changed, post-pandemic world. It challenges NGOs and policy-makers alike to undertake brave discussion about redefining and re-making foreign and defence policy.

The two reports detail the staggering cost of military spending to people and the planet.

The first report, Indefensible: The true cost of the global military to our climate and human security assesses the impact of the global military on climate change, human security and development. The second report Global military spending, sustainable human safety and value for money makes the case for modernising defence and security thinking and spending in order to effectively deal with the biggest threats to our collective safety: climate change and pandemic.[1]

Together, the reports argue that the US$1.9 trillion[2] spent globally each year on the world’s military delivers nothing to defend citizens facing these twin threats. Five years after the Paris Climate Conference, it is time to add the global military’s carbon footprint to the ‘net zero’ debate. The reports call for an assessment of the accountability, efficacy, relevance and value for money of our global military to the threats we face could not be more timely as lives and livelihoods worldwide are destroyed by a foreseen yet completely unaddressed ‘Tier 1’ security threat – pandemic.

For example, Indefensible: The true cost of the global military to our climate and human security estimates that if the world’s militaries were combined together as a single country, they would be the 29th biggest oil consumer in the world, just ahead of Belgium or South Africa. To put it another way, this is half the oil consumption of the world’s 5th biggest economy, the UK. Runaway global military spending enables the world’s militaries to remain the biggest institutional users of fossil fuels in the world and to be major driver for climate change. A carbon-neutral world demands we fully decarbonise our militaries.

“[This report] is an important addition to the growing evidence on the significant role of military emissions in causing climate change. Using a novel methodology, it widens the analysis to all the world’s militaries… it connects the dots between military fuel use, military spending, war, and the burden of climate change on development,” says Neta C. Crawford, Professor and Chair of Political Science Boston University and Co-Director of the Costs of War Project. “… it [also] offers important solutions. It is essential reading for all those concerned with climate change and the path to a sustainable and secure future.”

And as nations update their 2020 Nationally Determined Contributions,[3] the Transform Defence reports call for NGOs and policy-makers alike to undertake a practical, imaginative, brave discussion about redefining and re-making defence policy so it is truly fit-for-purpose and accords the same level of attention, urgency and resources to pandemic and climate change as is granted to conventional security threats.

“[TPNS’s] Global military spending, sustainable human safety and value for money report … demonstrates how deeply inadequate the concept of ‘national security’ is in light of the ongoing pandemic and the rapidly unfolding threats of climate change,” says Jen Maman, Senior Peace Adviser, Greenpeace International. “It asks what we can learn by looking at the policy and spending priorities of governments, and argues that, unquestioned and at our peril, governments are massively outspending on weaponry compared to the climate emergency or global health protection.’’

As we end this very difficult year and look ahead to 2021, we very much hope this new project can add value to the post-Covid recovery debate and in tandem with the discussions leading up to the Glasgow hosted COP in 2021, make the case that the time has come to transform defence for sustainable human security.

Twitter: @TransformDef



In 2016, total public expenditures on climate change (international and domestic) amounted to US$141 billion while global military expenditures was US$1.7 trillion.[4] On average, the expenditure of national governments on climate change amounted to 8.5% of what they spent on defence, a ratio of 12:1.[5] Since 2016, global military spending has gone up significantly.

Indefensible: The true cost of the global military to our climate and human security also estimates that the global military and defence industry combined accounts for at least 1% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. This is larger than the annual greenhouse gas emissions of the entire country of Italy and not much smaller than the total GHG emissions of the UK and France respectively.

For comparison, international civil aviation is responsible for around 1.3% of global GHG emissions and is a climate change focus of public and political attention. Meanwhile, the global military-industrial complex accounts for a similar  amount of greenhouse gas emissions as civil aviation but it receives no such scrutiny.

Global military spending, sustainable human safety and value for money report uses the F35 fighter jet as a case study to illustrate this imbalance. Had the US$2 trillion estimated global total lifetime cost of F-35 programme been applied to the activities/areas/agencies below this is what the global community would be receiving instead:

  • Climate finance for 20 years
  • UN disaster response for the next 400 years
  • UN disaster risk reduction for the next 4,000 years
  • Global biodiversity conservation at US$100bn per annum for the next 20 years
  • WHO at US$2bn per annum for the next 1,000 years
  • WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for 2,963 years
  • Global pandemic surveillance and control at US$8bn per annum for the next 250 years
  • UN peacekeeping operations at current US$5bn per annum for the next 444 years
  • UN peacekeeping at US$15bn per annum for the next 133 years


[1] Both reports build on major work published earlier: the USA Pentagon emissions report “Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change, and the Costs of War,” by Professor Neta Crawford of the Costs of War Project; UK military emissions “The Environmental Impacts of the UK Military Sector,” by Dr. Stuart Parkinson, Scientists for Global Responsibility; and “Hidden Carbon Costs of the ‘everywhere war’: Logistics, Geopolitical Ecology, and the Carbon Boot-print of the US Military,” by Oliver Belcher, Patrick Bigger, Ben Neimark, and Cara Kennelly.

[2] Trends In World Military Expenditure, 2019, SIPRI.

[3] See



June Newsletter

Save the dates; project news; campaigns to support!

Dear Colleagues, Supporters and Friends,

Below is our summer calendar of events plus some project news as well as campaigns in the news.

We hope to see you at one or more of our events!

Save the Dates

Wednesday 15th June – find out more about what we do!

– for those (London based) who want to know more about what we do, how to get involved and how to support our work. Deb, Kev, Fran and Jen would love to meet you!

The Chapel Bar, Islington – 6.30pm

Venue: The Chapel Bar, (29a Penton Street, N1 9PX), 5 mins walk from Angel Tube (Cross to White Lion Street, walk to the top where it meets Penton Road, Chapel Bar is on the opposite corner. See a map here.)

TPFF is working with film-makers to raise production and campaign outreach – find out more here. And how you can get more involved.

Thursday 16 June – ‘Latin America Rising’ – film, panel, performance. Free Event

TPFF & Movimentos supported screening of Pablo Navarette’s ‘Inside the Revolution’ + panel discussion, followed by rap and beatbox performances from Lowkey, Rebel Diaz.

“Inside the Revolution…a rare film about Venezuela, a country in extraordinary transition. Watch this film because it is honest and fair and respectful of those who want to be told the truth about an epic attempt, flaws and all, to claim back the humanity of ordinary people.” – John Pilger (Journalist, author and documentary filmmaker).

5.30-6.45pm film7-9pm panel + performance

Venue: Bolivar Hall, 54 Grafton Way, London, W1T 5DL More information – clips, event details

Event organised by Alborada and Beat Knowledge.

Wednesday 22nd June TPFF Film Club – ‘The Take’ by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis

Free Screening 7.30pm Chapel Bar, Islington

Award-winning film about the collapse of Argentina’s economy and the response of ordinary working people as they break all the rules to save their factories, their jobs – and their dignity – as they take on the local ruling elites, recapture their factories and make them succeed – as worker owned co-operatives. This film coincides with the start of the UK’s groundbreaking Co-operatives Fortnight – promoting the work and value of co-operation in the UK and abroad.

‘Fierce and Inspiring’ – Washington Post … ‘A suspenseful, cautionary tale universal in its implications’ LA Times…. ‘A cross between Michael Moore and Ken Loach’…. International Herald Tribune

This will be a FREE event – come and join us for a pre-mid summers day drink/screening/social gathering. No RSVPS – max 80 capacity, so come on time if you want a seat!


For more information visit the website.

Venue: The Chapel Bar, (29a Penton Street, N1 9PX), 5 mins walk from Angel Tube (Cross to White Lion Street, walk to the top where it meets Penton Road, Chapel Bar is on the opposite corner. See a map here.)

Monday 4th July TPFF Film Club – ‘Just Do It’ – PRESS PREVIEW screening + Q&A with Director Emily James

Venue: The Lexi Cinema

Time: 8pm film, 9.30pm Q&A with Emily James

Tickets cost £5 and can be purchased through The Lexi Cinema website or by calling the box office on 0871 704 2069 (£1 Booking Fee).

Tickets are free to TPFF regular givers and annual donors of more than £60.

Read Empire’s review in full here:

“Seriously topical but never so serious that it gets caught up in polemic, it’s a terrific story packed with characters and told with passion’. David Hughes, Empire Magazine

The inside story of some of the UK’s biggest troublemakers – a feature documentary about environmental direct action. Crowd funded and released this summer, Just Do It follows some fantastically inspiring women and men who most definitely got off their derrieres and did something – and made a difference. What more can you ask for?!

TPFF is proud to have supported Just Do It.


More info:

August Bank Holiday – TPFF Film Programme –  Greenbelt Festival (27-29th August)

TPFF returns to Greenbelt with a Tipping Point Film Programme over 3 days.

We team up with Dogwoof to present Mohamed Al-Daradji’s highly acclaimed new film‘Son of Babylon’ (Sat 27th) and award-winning film ‘Budrus’ (Sun 28th). Plus Al-Daradji’s documentary ‘Iraq: War, Love, God, Madness’ (Sat 27th) and ‘Our Generation’ by Sinem Saban & Damien Curtis (Mon 29th).


We Are Many – will mark the 10th anniversary of the global anti-Iraq invasion marches in 2013 and is a film about a single day and its aftermath – revealing both the power and potential of ordinary people, as well as the dark underbelly of the war machine.

We are currently planning  a one-off high profile fundraising event to kickstart the production funding effort – if you would like to know more about how you can help, email

We’re delighted that US actor and activist Danny Glover has recently come on to support the film and joins a first-class list of endorsees including Ahdaf Soueif, Michael Mansfield QC, Brian Eno, Ken Loach, Janet Suzman, Bianca Jagger, Tariq Ali and Arundhati Roy – some of whom will appear in the film. Rachel Portman, Oscar winning composer is on board and ITVS in the US have expressed an interest in acquiring the film on completion.

Watch the new trailer here:-

If you would like to know more/support the film, email


Food Speculation

Lots of news recently about food speculation – food is now a financial commodity, to be traded and bet against just like any other, such as copper and oil. How can this be stopped?

See below for some campaign actions…

Recent Christian Aid Week report.
War on Want – Trade and the Food Crisis
WDM – Stop bankers betting on food: campaign to limit commodity speculation

Royal Bank of Scotland and Tar Sands

WDM – one last bank story + campaign action.

RBS funding tar sands…

Co-operatives Fortnight – 25th June-9th July

Do you want to narrow the gap between rich and poor? Here’s how Co-operative Fortnight thinks you can – through action to share ownership and wealth in a co-operative way.