Academic papers


International Affairs | Low-carbon warfare: climate change, net zero and military operations

Defence has a carbon problem. This article introduces the concept of ‘low-carbon warfare’ as a means of capturing recent developments, the extent to which they dovetail with existing concerns regarding the business of war in the twenty-first century, and the prospect of significant changes to how militaries operate in the years ahead as the global energy transition unfolds.

Nature | Decarbonize the military — mandate emissions reporting

This article in Nature outlines the state of military emissions reporting so far and presents a way forward for academia and civil society to combat the problem.

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.



UNFCCC Global Stocktake | Military and Conflict Emissions

This submission to the Global Stocktake calls for the inclusion of military and conflict greenhouse gas emissions in the UNFCCC'S Global Stocktake process for the Paris Agreement. This was supported by Tipping Point North South, Conflict and Environment Observatory, Scientists for Global Responsibility, Costs of War, Transform Defence, Concrete Impacts, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Zoï Environment Network…

Joint call | NATO: Commit to credible climate action

A joint call ahead of COP27 urging NATO to make its methodology for counting emissions public, commit to thorough and transparent reporting, and pledge to cut military emissions.

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.



CEOBS | The COP where we began talking about conflict emissions

A month on from COP27, Ellie Kinney reflects on her time in Sharm El-Sheikh. Ellie landed at the COP with our newly published policy brief, and with a mission to advocate for better reporting of military greenhouse gas emissions.

CEOBS | Climate trackers: join us in shining the spotlight on militaries

Pressure from campaigners, researchers and journalists has been instrumental in driving climate action by states and large corporations. Climate action tracking websites and reports play a vital role in informing this process but as Ellie Kinney writes, the leading climate tracking sites are silent on military emissions.

CEOBS | NATO won’t say how it will count its carbon emissions

NATO has pledged to reduce its instituational emissions but won't publish the methodology it will use to count them. Doug Weir argues that this lack of transparency underscores the importance of military emissions instead being addressed by the UNFCCC.



Berliner Zeitung | Putin should pay for climate damage from war in Ukraine

In this article, Michael Maier reports (in german) on the environental consequence of the war in Ukraine, featuring interviews with Lennard de Klerk, author of the report 'Climate damage caused by Russia's war in Ukraine', Stuart Parkinson from Scientists for Global Responsibility, and Oliver Heidrich, Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle.    

Stars and Stripes | Militaries worldwide produce more greenhouse gases than all but 3 countries, study says

Stars and Stripes provides independent news and information to the U.S. military community, including active-duty servicemembers, DoD civilians, veterans, contractors, and their families. In this article, Phillip Walter Wellman reports on the CEOBS and SGR report 'Estimating the military’s global greenhouse gas emissions'.

The Guardian | Ukraine uses COP27 to highlight environmental cost of Russia’s war

Oliver Milman, environmental reporter for Guardian US, reports on Ukraine's focus at COP27 on the environmental impact of Russia's invasion.



US Department of Defense | Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

This report is the Department’s inaugural enterprise-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan and describes strategies for both military installations and operations, aiming to enhance capability while increasing the readiness and resilience of the force.

NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence | Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction – Challenges and Opportunities for Green Defense

This report by Marju Kõrts aims to get further insight into the impact of climate change on military activities (infrastructure, installations and equipment) and its coping techniques.

New Zealand Defence Force | Emissions Reduction Plan

The NZDF sets out a 'direction of travel' to reduce ghg emissions and initial targets a 21% reduction no later than the end of FY2024/25, and a 42% reduction no later than the end of FY2029/30 - set against a 2016/17 baseline.



UK Defence Committee | Defence and Climate Change Inquiry Evidence

The UK House of Commons Defence Committee is conducting an inquiry into ‘Defence and Climate Change’. Linsey Cottrell, Environmental Policy Officer at The Conflict and Environment Observatory, and Dr Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director at Scientists for Global Responsibility, were invited to give evidence on 24th January 2023, focusing on the Ministry of Defence's emissions.  

COP27 | Dealing with military and conflict related emissions under the UNFCCC

This COP27 side event is co-hosted by the Government of Ukraine and The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD). At this event, Ukraine launched a new methodology to measure the emissions resulting from Russia's invasion, and speakers discusses how this so far ignored issue can be dealt with under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement.

CEOBS | COP27 virtual panel: Military Emissions Gap annual update 2022

In this virtual panel discussion, we launch our annual update on the state of military greenhouse gas reporting to the UNFCCC, alongside our framework for tracking military emissions. The panel also discusses an innovative new methodology to estimate global military emissions, and learns how Green Korea United are holding their Government to account.