Lockheed Martin is the largest military contractor with the Department of Defense, the world’s largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels. Lockheed was recently asked point-blank if it will address its role in worsening climate change. Its answer: no.

by Danaka Katovich and David Gibson, Jacobin

Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest military contractor, will have its shareholder meeting on April 27. There, shareholders are slated to vote on a resolution to require a company report “disclosing how the Company intends to reduce its full value chain greenhouse gas emissions in alignment with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C degree goal requiring Net Zero emissions by 2050.” The board at Lockheed advised all their shareholders to vote against this resolution, making it clear that in addition to promoting conflict and violence around the world, Lockheed Martin is also uninterested in scaling back its significant contribution to climate change.

In the board’s reasoning, shareholders should vote no on the resolution because it is “premature and not in the best interest of our Company or our stockholders.” To suggest that acting on the unfolding climate catastrophe is “premature” speaks volumes about the lack of urgency Lockheed executives see around the climate crisis. According to a recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the threshold for critical changes in the climate will likely happen within this decade. The report emphasizes that we must make an immediate shift away from fossil fuels to prevent climate collapse. The idea that any action on climate change is premature is a blatant falsehood at worst or willfully ignorant at best.

n F-16 and an F-35 model at the background, at the Lockheed Martin exhibition stand

As we face the stark reality of looming climate disaster, the board’s statement is a candid admission of Lockheed executives’ values. From this, one can truly determine that they value profit over everything else — in case that weren’t clear from, say, the slaughter of forty Yemeni schoolchildren with a Lockheed Martin–manufactured bomb, or countless other horrific acts of violence routinely committed with the company’s profitable products.

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