Ministry of Defence publishes roadmap for UK Defence to combat climate change

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The Ministry of Defence has published its roadmap to becoming more resilient and sustainable in the face of global climate change.

Following a report by Lieutenant General Richard Nugee, the Ministry seeks to refresh and renew its approach, building on the work already achieved across defence.

Defence aims to ‘champion a culture of sustainability across its community’, by mitigating environmental impact whilst maintaining critical military outputs.

By 2050, and as part of the UK-wide Climate Change Strategy, defence aims to:

  • ‘Adapt, fight and win’ in ever more hostile and unforgiving physical environments.
  • Contribute to the UK’s net zero by 2050 target by reducing emissions and scaling up the transition to renewables.
  • Acting and being recognised as ‘a global leader both in responding to the emerging geopolitical and conflict-related threats being exacerbated by climate change and is addressing carbon emissions.’

The approach also outlines defence’s vision for deployed military technologies being fit for the future, which includes increased use of material recycle for fuel and components, advancing maintenance methods to reduce waste and footprint and the continued rollout of the electric vehicle fleet.

Defence is announced to be already working to become more sustainable, with the Royal Navy reporting to have reduced their Nitrogen Oxide emissions by 95% on their Offshore Vessel Patrols, whilst the British Army are piloting Carbon efficient accommodation across their training estates and will continue this programme into 2022.

The RAF have also introduced more environmentally-friendly green fuel to power aircraft and have increased the use of synthetics in pilot training which has led to a reduction in fuel demands.

Defence has also committed to enhancing biodiversity across its estate and is developing new agri-environmental programmes.

Lt Gen Richard Nugee, Ministry of Defence Climate Change & Sustainability lead, added: “Climate change is just as much a threat to global security as more conventional threats, and this has the ability to change the way we operate.

“Defence is already making great strides in its efforts to become more sustainable.

“By changing the way we operate, across land, sea and air domains, Defence will play its part in the fight against climate change.”

The Integrated Review and the Defence Command Paper seek to ensure green initiatives and sustainable considerations are ’embedded in all decision-making areas across defence.’

The ‘Ministry of Defence Climate Change and Sustainability Strategic Approach’ is available on the government website.