News Release

Paris Agreement: Is Massive Military Emissions Bootprint Still Exempt?

NICK BUXTON, nick at tni.org, @nickbuxton
Buxton is the co-editor of the recently released book The Secure and the Dispossessed: How the Military and Corporations Are Shaping a Climate-Changed World and communications manager for the Transnational Institute.

He said today: “We don’t have a proper accounting, but we do know the Pentagon is the single largest organizational user of oil and gas. The massive carbon bootprint of the military needs to be radically cut if political leaders are to meet the promises they made at the Paris climate talks. Military emissions were specifically excluded from the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 at the behest of the U.S. government. There are indications in the wake of the Paris Agreement that they may no longer be specifically excluded from greenhouse gas emissions reporting. However, countries’ current reporting of emissions and planned actions known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), have so far failed to include military emissions and they will only be included if there is mass pressure to do so.” See Buxton’s recent interview on The Real News.

He added: “But this is not just an issue of the military’s own emissions. We also need to go further and look at how the military is at the heart of a global fossil fuel economy. The U.S.’ vast empire of 800 bases for example is concentrated in oil-rich regions and is designed to protect long-distance shipping routes and an unsustainable consumer economy that also contributes to climate change. This vast military bootprint, bolstered by a powerful arms industry, ends up fueling conflicts that do untold damage to the environment and kill many civilians.

“We need to open up a debate about how to cut record world military and homeland security expenditure and invest that money instead into climate adaptation for the world’s most vulnerable people. That is the only way to deliver real human security, the security of a safe and sustainable future for everyone.”