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 | 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 | 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.

CEOBS | Tracking military greenhouse gas emissions in war and peace

What sources of greenhouse gas emissions should militaries be tracking and reporting on? Ellie Kinney introduces a CEOBS report that examines military emissions in both peacetime and during conflicts.



Energy Monitor | Nato disappoints with tepid climate action

Although momentum was building for a Nato-wide emissions reduction target, at the alliance's Madrid summit there was no consensus for such bold action. US Journalist Dave Keating talks to CEOBS' Doug Weir.

CNBC | Can war be net-zero? NATO pledges massive revamp of energy-guzzling equipment

Military activities have quietly enjoyed a sense of exceptionalism from environmental norms that other areas of society are expected to follow. Now, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said that the 30-member military alliance would reduce emissions by at least 45% by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Inside Climate News | NATO Moves to Tackle Military Greenhouse Gas Emissions Even While Girding Against Russia

Climate change is on the agenda at a three-day summit in Madrid, as the alliance seeks to respond to the Ukraine crisis.



CEOBS | A framework for military greenhouse gas emissions reporting

This paper examines the need for military greenhouse gas emissions reporting, its functions and components, and sets out an initial framework for the military sources that emissions reporting should cover, including those associated with armed conflicts.

Perspectives Climate Group | Military and conflict-related emissions: Kyoto to Glasgow and beyond

Reporting arguing that under the Paris Agreement, rules for reporting of military and conflict-related emissions need to be developed. Both independent reporting of operational emissions of military in peacetime as well as large-scale war-related emissions is to be taken up with high priority. Military emissions should play a relevant role in the Global Stocktake due to be finalized by COP28…

US DoD | Report on Greenhouse Gas Emission Levels

This report from the US Department of Defense reviews the total level of greenhouse gas emissions for each of the last 10 years. This information is broken down by military department as well as by installation or operational emissions.



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.