Academic papers


Pentagon fuel use, climate change and the costs of war

Neta Crawford explores the U.S. military’s contribution to climate change. She finds that although the Defense Department has significantly reduced its fossil fuel consumption since the early 2000s, it remains the world’s single largest consumer of oil – and as a result, one of the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters.

Hidden carbon costs of the ‘everywhere war’: Logistics, geopolitical ecology, and the carbon boot-print of the US military

This paper examines the US military's impact on climate by analysing the geopolitical ecology of its global logistical supply chains. It argues that to account for the US military as a major climate actor, one must understand the logistical supply chain that makes its acquisition and consumption of hydrocarbon-based fuels possible.

Weaponising nature: The geopolitical ecology of the US Navy’s biofuel program

Patrick Bigger and Benjamin Neimark explore how the US military used climate change to justify the provision of new military hardware and advanced biofuels, and promoted a vision of resource conflicts to support the development of technologies to overcome the constraints to delivery of fuel to emergent front lines.



Joint call | Governments: commit to meaningful military emissions cuts at COP26

A joint civil society call launched by CEOBS that urges governments to set meaningful emissions reduction targets and outlines what these targets need to include to be meaningful. The joint call has been signed by more than 200 organisations.



GMF | NATO and climate change: Better late than never

In the same week that Russia sent its troops into Ukraine, the International Panel on Climate Change produced its latest report, indicating that 50 percent of all the inhabitants of this planet will be impacted to severely impacted by climate change with current global warming trends by 2040. Even an event as catastrophic in humanitarian and political terms as Putin’s…

CEOBS | Why militaries shouldn’t be exempt from EU battery laws

Military plans to electrify fleets as part of their energy and climate mitigation strategies will increase demand for batteries, and the raw materials for their production. However, forthcoming EU battery legislation contains a blanket exemption for military batteries. In this post, Piotr Barczak and Linsey Cottrell argue why removing it is a question of credibility for militaries touting their sustainability…

NSA | Behind the US pursuit of military exemptions to the Kyoto Protocol

Using declassified documents and contemporary reports this post explores the advocacy by US negotiators in Kyoto for national security exemptions during and after the climate change conference.



TIME | To take Climate Change seriously, the U.S. military needs to shrink

The Department of Defense (DOD) has embarked on a decarbonization push in recent months, claiming to be in the process of building a greener American fighting force. But many environmentalists and academics say that fully decarbonizing the country’s current military and its vast network of overseas bases simply isn’t realistic. Carbon cuts, they argue, will come with trade-offs, and at…

Boston Globe | 28 legislators urge Biden to slash Pentagon emissions

An executive order directs the government to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, but exempts the Defense Department. A letter led by Senator Markey demands the White House close that loophole.

WAPO | Militaries are among the world’s biggest emitters. This general wants them to go green.

Washington Post feature on Richard Nugee, the UK three-star general who drew up the climate change strategy for the UK military.



US Army | Climate strategy 2022

Executive Orders (EO) 14008 and 14057 instruct the U.S. government to work deliberately to put the world on a sustainable climate pathway, build resilience both at home and abroad, and catalyze beneficial private sector investment. Starting from the policies and directives in the EOs, the Army will pursue three major goals to reach the Army Climate Strategy (ACS) end state.…

IISS | Green Defence: the defence and military implications of climate change for Europe

This report assesses not only the implications for European armed forces of operating in climate changed worlds, but also the opportunities for reducing carbon footprint from new technologies. It assesses the challenges of implementing the necessary changes to military operations, training and capability and identifies success factors for this essential transformation.

SGR | Comparing official UK statistics for military greenhouse gas emissions

There are serious concerns that the official data published by different government bodies for UK military greenhouse gas emissions are neither consistent nor complete enough to adequately guide policy-making in this area.



CEOBS/CI | Climate change and the military: tracking their carbon emissions

Emissions from militaries make a major contribution to the climate crisis. Just how big this is remains unclear, and without public attention, that's how it will stay. This is why we launched - it allows anyone to see the military emissions data that the top 60 military spenders report to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Spoiler: most…

DW News | Key polluter exempt from CO2 targets – Militaries lag in green technologies

DW News interview the Military Emissions Gap, a former Estonian defence minister and NATO to explore the growing pressure on militaries to reduce their emissions.

DW Analysis | Carbon bootprint: What’s NATO’s responsibility for the global climate crisis?

In this DW News package, Teri Schultz explores why the military is constantly left out when it comes to combatting climate change, and whether this could this change.