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.



CEOBS | Military emissions cuts – where do we go from here?

2021 has been an extraordinary year for the campaign to hold militaries accountable for their contribution to the climate emergency, in this post Doug Weir takes stock of where we are, and how we can build on the achievements of COP26.

NAADSN | Military emissions reporting: An opportunity for proactive Canadian leadership

The reporting of stationary fuel uses by other nations suggests there may be opportunities for Canadian Armed Forces Bases and Wings to disclose fuel and energy use with greater specificity. To do so would highlight DND and CAF efforts to meet the government-wide target to reduce emissions

The Conversation | COP26: how the world’s militaries hide their huge carbon emissions

Climate change leadership requires more than stirring speeches. It means facing up to hard truths. One truth that governments around the world are struggling with is the immense contribution their militaries are making to the climate crisis. The Military Emissions Gap team consider the scale of the problem and argue that emissions reporting is a vital first step.



PopSci | The world’s largest military isn’t reporting its giant ‘carbon bootprint’

The U.S. military has recognized climate change as an “existential” threat to national security, spurring conflict and mass migration. But critics say it hasn’t done enough to stave off climate change—and that’s partly because it’s not required to share how much it pollutes.

The Guardian | World’s militaries avoiding scrutiny over emissions, scientists say

Armed forces are among the biggest polluters on the planet but are avoiding scrutiny because countries do not have to include their emissions in their targets, scientists say.

Rudaw | Militaries evading global emission cuts: COP26

A research project launched on Tuesday has criticised leading militaries for significantly under-reporting data on their contributions to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as delegations including Iraq continue to negotiate global targets for keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees during the second week of the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.



CEOBS and Scientists for Global Responsibility | Under the radar: The carbon footprint of the EU’s military sectors

This CEOBS/SGR study provides the first ever estimate of the carbon footprint of the EU’s military sectors. The report also provides a broad overview of the policies and measures currently being pursued to reduce military GHG emissions in the EU, and their likely effectiveness.

Scientists for Global Responsibility | The environmental impacts of the UK military sector

This report assesses the key environmental impacts of the UK military, arms industry and related sectors. It provides a detailed assessment of UK military greenhouse gas emissions – arguably, more in-depth than previously provided in a report in the public domain. It also gives an overview of other related military environmental issues.

Transform Defence | Indefensible, the true cost of the global military to our climate and human security

This report focuses specifically on the military-oil industry relationship to reveal its role in climate breakdown. It argues that we must start to quantify, expose and act upon the climate burden put upon people and planet by the world’s big military spenders.



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.