The Ministry of Defence has published its roadmap to becoming more resilient and sustainable in the face of the immense challenge of global climate change.
Ministry of Defence Climate Change and Sustainability Strategic Approach
Following on from a landmark report undertaken by Lieutenant General Richard Nugee commissioned by the MOD, the Department means 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
act and be 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. This will include 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 Minister Jeremy Quin said: "The threat posed by climate change is one that affects us all and for defence, it will deeply impact the tasks our Armed Forces are called upon to undertake.
As a global military leader we must evolve and set an example on how to protect peace and stability while embracing sustainability and reducing our carbon emissions.
Defence is already working to become more sustainable; the Royal Navy 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, MOD Climate Change & Sustainability lead said: "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 recognise the threat climate change poses to global security and defence. This new approach is reflective of that and will ensure green initiatives and sustainable considerations are embedded in all decision making areas across defence.
Mark Neill, Managing Director of Landmarc - which manages the UK Defence Training Estate in partnership with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and plays a pivotal role in helping to mitigate the environmental impact of training activities - said: “During 2021, the UK Government will make tackling climate change and addressing biodiversity a key priority, alongside ambitious and binding targets to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, with Defence playing a major role in helping to mitigate its environmental impact.
“As custodians of the UK Defence Training Estate, we are proud to support the biodiversity and sustainability of this unique and important landscape and are fully committed to the strategic ambitions set out in this report to ensure the Training Estate is sustainable for generations to come.”
To read the full report: Ministry of Defence Climate Change and Sustainability Strategic Approach