Inquiry into climate crisis impact on UK defence launched

The Defence Committee has today announced an inquiry looking at how the climate crisis will affect UK defence and the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) contributions to carbon emissions.

The Defence Committee will be investigating, for the first time, what needs to be done to ensure international climate targets are met and the impacts of the climate crisis on future conflicts.

It will also be looking into whether the UK Armed Forces are prepared for an increase in requests for aid in the wake of extreme weather events and flooding and what the MoD can do to help the UK achieve net zero by 2050.

The Committee will be accepting evidence submissions on these points from anyone who has a potential answer or solution until June 24.

six fighter jets

Chair of the Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood MP, said: ‘Climate change is already making an impact on security and governance in some of the world’s most vulnerable regions. Storms, floods, and droughts will hit agricultural productivity, damage economies, and bring mass migration. Global threats, made worse by rising seas and extreme weather events, are also expected to lead to more conflict. While the immediate focus of our defence policy is rightly on Russian aggression in Ukraine, it’s also important we focus attention on the likely impact of climate change on our future defence and security.

‘In our Committee inquiry, we will be examining the global consequences of climate change, such as the risk of conflict driven by competition for scarce resources, and the potential impact of population movements, droughts, floods and other extreme weather events. How far are our Armed Forces equipped to meet these scenarios and what steps do we need to take for our forces to adapt to these challenges?

‘Our inquiry will also examine the MoD’s contribution to reducing carbon emissions. Defence accounts for half of UK central Government’s emissions – what measures is the Department putting in place to help government achieve net zero emissions by 2050? Will the MoD follow the US Army in setting targets for reducing its greenhouse gas pollution?’

Last year the MoD suggested the climate crisis will almost certainly lead to more conflict, as rising seas and extreme weather events make global threats worse.

Photo by UX Gun


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top