Defence and Climate Change – Report Summary

This is a House of Commons Committee report, with recommendations to government. The Government has two months to respond.

Author: Defence Committee

Related inquiry: Defence and Climate Change

Date Published: 18 August 2023

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Summary

In January 2023 the World Economic Forum listed climate change as the cause of the top six most severe risks to the planet over the coming decade. This directly matters to defence. John Kerry, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, told us during the inquiry leading to this Report that if the world does not respond adequately we will see “the undermining of the common principles around which we have organised our defence and security communities”.

The Ministry of Defence is contributing to the achievement of the Government’s legal commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. However, we find in this Report that Defence can do much more to measure and reduce its carbon emissions — without eroding military capability. The Armed Forces, defence acquisition and the defence estate — both at home and abroad — will also need to adapt to respond to the impacts of climate change over the coming decades, with consequences for geostrategy, defence readiness, resilience and the effective delivery of military effect.