Add Military Greenhouse Gas Emissions for COP consideration

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UNA LASER is among the signatories of the following letter from the Arms, Militarisation and Climate Justice Working Group to Nigel Topping, UK High Level Champion for Climate Action at COP26.

Dear Mr Topping
Military greenhouse gas emissions must be on the agenda for COP27

Militaries are major greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters and typically the largest energy
consumers among any government agency. Because militaries have been excluded
from compulsory reporting obligations since Kyoto, data on global military emissions is
very limited. In spite of the scale of their emissions, the military’s contribution to climate
change impacts is not part of official COP26 discussions in November 2021.

In November 2020, the EU published the Climate Change and Defence Roadmap,
which recognises that the military must take action to reduce its greenhouse gas
emissions. However, this roadmap is not legally binding. In June 2021, NATO members
also pledged to begin to reduce their military GHG emissions. No clear targets have yet
been provided by member states, or detail on how GHG emission reductions will be
achieved.

Meanwhile, public awareness of this issue is growing. As of 17th September, more than
100 organisations have called for governments to commit to meaningful military
reductions pledges at COP26. Climate, development and peace experts have signed an
open letter calling for an IPCC Special Taskforce to be established, while a petition
asking for the military to be included in GHG reporting and reduction targets has more
than 17,000 signatories.

An obligation on governments to fully report the emissions of their militaries is a critical
first step given the urgency of the climate crisis. As the UK’s High Level Champion for
Climate Action, we ask for your support in ensuring that military GHG emissions
are included on the agenda for COP27.

As global military spending continues to increase – reaching US$ 2 trillion in 2020 – the
military sector must be included in GHG reduction targets if countries are to have a
chance of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

Yours sincerely,

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